Bruce Lee G, ‘Downtown Music Gallery’ 12/17/09

“I dig the way Jon’s guitar solo [on ‘Truncheon’] is in between styles and crafty without showing off…The guitar solo [on ‘Phoenetics’] is slow, mysterious and often mesmerizing…Lundbom writes quirky yet memorable songs that are refreshing with unexpected twists that occur before you notice them…songs that unfold in unexpected ways…There is something charming, creative and cool about this music that is not so easy to explain but it does make me smile…”

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Dave Madden, ‘SLUG Magazine’

“Somewhere down the road from the Knitting Factory, on the outskirts of 70s stadium rock, you’ll find Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord, a crew once again proving that jazz isn’t dead – it’s just getting started! This live recording finds the band letting loose in the city (New York), completely unrestrained and bouncing between free jazz and 60s bop masters. …the crew walks a line of structural retention and freedom from the original works that fuses a healthy dose of virtuosic improvisation with an uncanny ability to come back to center before wandering too far into the cosmos.”

Glenn Astarita, ‘All About Jazz’

“Chicago-reared and now an active participant in New York City’s improvising scene, guitarist Jon Lundbom fuses avant-garde, jazz-rock scenarios with odd-metered rhythms and more. The quintet is augmented by the twin sax attack of Bryan Murray and Jon Irabagon, whereas Lundbom occasionally puts the pedal to the metal. But there’s quite a bit of improvisational forays based upon the soloists’ interweaving lines and soaring momentum along with a cavalcade of variables. At times, the band tosses in notions of angst and shock-therapy to coincide with its semi-loud modus operandi. Fans of New York City’s wily downtown scene should welcome this outing with open arms!”

Phillip McNally, ‘Cadence’

“On the much heavier side of fusion, Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord crank out what I have to call heavy metal Jazz on All the Pretty Ponies. This is a power 5tet with the Blues influence of Ulmer on its mind, but even when the two saxes blow fiercely out, the emphasis is on Lundbom’s scorching guitar…and at their best moments, the 5tet achieves something like a harmolodic looseness.”

Jay Collins, ‘One Final Note’

“…Lundbom is one of these players with his foot firmly in the rock camp, but with plenty of the grit of jazz to keep things interesting. With Big Five Chord, the mid-20ish Lundbom and his associates convince that fusion can mean something appetizing in the 21st Century with a seven-composition program that romps, serenades, and well, rocks… Though Lundbom is quite an instrumentalist considering his age, he isn’t out to open his hefty bag of skills with each turn… Rather, this is a group effort and his partners are more than happy to come along for the ride… Big Five Chord is further evidence that guitar-focused music can provide thoughtful, yet thrilling results and that Lundbom is off to a fine start.”

Dave Madden, ‘Splendid’

“In the same manner that each new class of art kids continually redefines the boundaries of ‘experimental’ processes, Jon Lundbom and his crew opt for a far more structured approach to jazz fusion…guitarist Lundbom slowly plucks in a different direction, pushing complicated harmonies that would be right at home as the opening cluster of a Webern work. Each musician works from a different angle here, but the delicate menagerie remains solid, even when both sax players take their sultry mid-Twentieth Century solos over Lundbom’s near-microtonal (and often near-metal) independence… Once you’ve experienced his music, this will make perfect sense — his combination of instinct and formal training is evident throughout the disc.”

Bill Donaldson, ‘Cadence’

“[Lundbom] is releasing his first CD, his music apparently fully developed with a dark and mostly non-linear perspective…a combination of avant-garde Jazz familiar to patrons of CB’s Lounge, the energy of a driving rock beat and the occasional allusions to the work of unfettered saxophonists of earlier generations. …Lundbom invests his debut recording with an abundance of energy and youthful fearlessness for investigating the possibilities of sonic exploration.”

Eric Glasnapp, ‘JazzReview.com’

“Perhaps best described as avant-fusion, Jon Lundbom’s quintet drives toward a unique sound that hybridizes the outside playing characterized in avant-garde while remaining rooted in rhythm-based fusion riffs… While just a debut album, the group has a sound that belies this. Blending genres, we are treated to an ever-shifting sound that has more than enough to offer any listener of avant, fusion, or even adventuresome bop. Only in his mid-twenties, one can only hope Lundbom has plenty more to offer the listening audience.”

Mark Sabbatini, ‘All About Jazz’ 11/06/04

★★★
“Guitarist Jon Lundbom achieves his goal of breaking a few molds in a promising debut album… Lundbom mixes classic and West Coast licks with abrupt rock chord-crunching, sounding more natural than contrived in doing so. He’s also impressive providing a rambling-yet-complimentary chord canvas… It’s pretty tasty stuff…a promising album with lots of room for future development. …those who come across it ought to give it an audition.”

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