Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord – Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! (2011)

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Yet another product from Moppa Elliot’s Hot Cup Records, which already says a lot about a record that shares the same label as Bryan And The Haggards, Puttin’ On The Ritz, and Mostly Other People Do The Killing.

But we were already saying things — nice things — about Lundbom’s record, Accomplish Jazz (2009). For Quavers!, Lundbom has the same dangerous personnel in his Big Five Chord Band as before: Elliot on bass, Bryan Murray on tenor and balto! (yes, you read that right) sax, Jon Irabagon on alto and sopranino saxes and Danny Fisher on drums.

All of these are members of some or all of the other bands in the Hot Cup sphere of influence, but Lundbom’s vision of music is a little different: a grunge/punk disposition but with a great feel for complex harmonic structures and dynamic tonalities that puts his music squarely in the no-man’s land between rock and jazz. His music won’t swing like MOPDTK, but it shares the same subversive attitude; not a surprise coming from a band full of subversives.

Just two minor tweaks from Accomplish: no covers with all tunes were written by Lundbom, and the addition of Matt Kanelos’ electric piano for a few tracks. Even when Kanelos is present, the sonic presentation remains very angular and nimble. The band experiments a lot and the fun is picking up on their game.

“On Jacation” (video above) thrives on Elliott’s ostinato for what seems like forever, the repeating chord progression eventually stumbling ahead or behind the rhythm and the two sax dudes battling it out in feats of freakouts. “Meat Without Feet” introduces Murray’s own balto! on record, sounding like particularly squonky tenor sax. If Derek Bailey is your thing, you’ll love Lundbom’s skittering lines on “New Feats of Horsemanship.” Irabagon pulls out a rarely-heard sopranino sax to play a piercing, explosive solo on “Faith-Based Initiative.”

Dang, Lundbom and his Big Five Chord band has done it again. Call me a fan.

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