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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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.