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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Paul Acquaro, ‘Free Jazz Blog’ 09/03/16

★★★★
“[Big Five Chord] is a powerhouse of ideas and chops, and little of it goes to waste. ‘Play All the Notes’ begins with ‘Comedy Gold,’ a no nonsense free jazz explosion featuring an intense wrenching duet between Irabagon and Murray. …[The EP] features all the notes while straddling line between modern and free jazz. …[‘MacGuffin’] underscores [Lundbom’s] deft ability to balance inside and outside playing. …Over the course of the four EPs, the playing is immaculate, unstrained and accessible.”

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Karl Ackermann, ‘All About Jazz’ 06/08/16

★★★★
“Full of precarious diversions that [go] beyond well-mapped terrain. The group approaches the unfamiliar with cleverness, misdirection, and at times, a full-frontal assault on the senses. …There’s been a tendency to describe Big Five Chord as if they were sometimes treading a line between something intangible and progressive jazz. But that underplays how the group distinguishes and supports the individualities of its members, maintaining unpredictability without losing concentration or musical playfulness. Whether Big Five Chord is executing a plaintive bluesy passage or scorching their eyebrows in a freefall, ‘Play All the Notes’ wastes nothing and gives in abundance.”

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Jeff Simon, ‘The Buffalo News’ 06/04/16

★★★1/2 (out of four)
“Splendid music by one of the coolest and boldest jazz bands around… The asperity of Lunblom’s [sic] soloing is powerful but what makes the EP’s irresistible is the counterpoint of Irabagon and Exclamationpoint. If you want to know where the jazz vanguard lives and absolutely flourishes in current jazz, try these guys.”

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