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Since 2003, guitarist Jon Lundbom and his Big Five Chord unit have been crashing and slashing through the jazz-rock idiom, often lying on the perimeter of the avant-garde spectrum. With a support band comprised of solo artists and first-call session aces, the music is often hard-edged and chockfull of off-kilter innuendoes and ballsy soloing excursions.
Lundbom's intense phrasings and mind-altering solo spots can exude a semblance of systematic paranoia or command the ensemble like a diesel-powered automaton, wielding a mass of destruction through a heavily populated metropolis. On "Ears Like a Fox," these notions come to fruition, launched by drummer Danny Fischer's parade music-like snare rolls and followed by the saxophonist's darting notes atop thrusting grooves.
The piece is constructed on a touch of pathos, incorporated by the saxophonist's authoritarian impetus, where rancorous aerial assaults heighten the pitch. Here, Lundbom primes for the kill via animated and briskly executed single-note licks designed from the bottom up, bringing it all back home, as the band closes out with a contorted burnout.
The album is not all about slash and burn, yet Lundbom's compositions are often shaped with progressive jazz, rock and shrewdly arranged cosmic disruptionstendering a converse perspective without playing it safe or sticking to conventional formatswhich are accelerators that engender the group's customized scope of attack.
Personnel: Jon Lundbom: guitar; Jon Irabagon: alto and sopranino saxophones; Bryan Murray: tenor and balto! saxophones; Moppa Elliott: bass; Danny Fischer: drums; Matt Kanelos: keyboards.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.