Tom Hull, ‘Tom Hull – On the Web’ 11/14/16

The Best Jazz Albums of 2016
61. Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Play All the Notes
62. Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Make the Changes

Honorable Mention [listed alphabetically]
75. Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Bring Their ‘A’ Game
76. Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Make the Magic Happen

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Grego Applegate Edwards, ‘Gapplegate Guitar & Bass Blog’ 04/04/16

“[‘Bring Their ‘A’ Game’] has the growl of the band in improvisational fullness. Jon plays some beautiful guitar as one expects, he IS one of a kind after all. …This is take-no-prisoners out bop and more. Make no mistake. Lundbom has the subtle leadership that gets everybody to give of things their considerable all, and Jon does the same. Can I just say ‘chuck everything and get it’? Well I will. …There is something important going on!”

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Tim Niland, ‘Music and More’ 03/24/16

“A thrill ride featuring shimmering guitar and burning saxophones pushed forward by excellent rhythm. The album clocks in at twenty seven minutes and keeps you riveted throughout. This is an excellent group and the music that they play is both high energy, and emotionally engaging, which works well in these short compact bursts of music.”

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Karl Ackermann, ‘All About Jazz’ 03/17/16

★★★1/2
“The three long tracks make for adventurous listening. The group radiates with hard bop sensibility and a methodical madness that’s almost impossible to turn away from. …[JL&BVC] often choose unexplored paths to interpret these pieces. The democratic group approach allows each of these top-tier innovators to stretch while their interplay and group dynamics are flawless. Complex and angular lines are contrasted with the full sound of reeds; Lundbom’s notes and phrases move in and out of focus while Monaghan manages to hold all of together. It’s a high-wire act that doesn’t let down.”

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Dan McClenaghan, ‘All About Jazz’ 03/13/16

★★★★
“[‘Bring Their ‘A’ Game’ is] a mix a free jazz and and tight grooves, as music that blends the moods of surf rock with Bluesman Big Joe Turner’s backing band… The music is satisfyingly elemental: bass, guitar, drums and a couple of free flying saxophonists. No pretense here. Rock solid sounds out of the American jazz/rock/blues/free jazz tradition, from a fearless group of music-makers.”

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Chris Haines, ‘The Free Jazz Collective’ 03/07/16

★★★★
“Chromatic passages mixing it up with free-funk motives and a gradual and well-worked development of the material that eventually leads to a noise based saturation point. The phrasing in [Lundbom’s] playing is a real joy and the way it sits within the rhythm will have you toe tapping before the track is out, worth getting just for [‘Ain’t Cha’]. …The emphasis is clearly on the tracks as a vehicle for improvised solo melodic lines and there is plenty of space for each of the soloists to stretch out and express themselves. …There is some great playing from the guitarist across these two EPs.”

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