Chris Robinson, ‘Outside-Inside-Out’ 10/16/16

“[The ‘2016:EPs’ release strategy] strikes a balance between an older view of the album as larger holistic statement and the contemporary consumption of music in individual portions of digitized bytes. …It’s a strategy I don’t believe I’ve seen before, and it is the foundation for what is arguably one of the finest albums of the year. …[Lundbom’s] music doesn’t foreclose any possibilities or interpretations. They are wide open and offer lots of room for exploration. …Especially compelling is the subtle mix of a variety of grooves and tempos and phrasing, which are often stacked upon or juxtaposed against each other. …The performances and compositions across each EP are of a uniformly high and creative level, and the use of a Coleman tune each in one further unifies the set. This is free jazz…in a way where the common framework and reference point encourages each player to be free to employ a variety of vocabularies and take things in new directions.

…Just because one does not take oneself too seriously does not mean one is not serious. …I find that the group’s irreverence – when combined with its restless creative energy, serious chops, inventiveness, risk taking, and respect for the tradition – is what draws me to their music, and why I find it so compelling. …And that’s what JL&BVC has done yet again: respecting and drawing from tradition while having unique and important individual voices use and warp that tradition to create something fresh. Their aesthetic is not either/or. It’s both/and, and it’s this dialectic relationship that makes Big Five Chord one of the most vital and sparkling groups working today.”

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