Jon Lundbom

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ARTIST BIO

Guitarist, composer, and bandleader Jon Lundbom resides in Brooklyn, New York City. He leads Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord, with which he has released six albums. Their latest, “Liverevil,” was recently released on New York City’s Hot Cup Records live in concert at ShapeShifter Lab.  It is available on iTunes and on Amazon and wherever find CDs are sold, including as a $5 download right here at www.jonlundbom.com.

Jon’s music – described as “Hardbop + Zeppelin + Schoenberg” (Dave Madden, ‘SLUG’) – is a showcase for his “intense phrasing and mind-altering solo spots” (Glenn Astarita, ‘All About Jazz’), a “boundary-shattering shot of adrenaline that screws with your head and messes with your soul” (Jordan Richardson, ‘The Seattle PI’).  Jon has been called “an idiosyncratic genius harboring boundary-stretching notions in his musical make up” (CJ Bond, ‘JazMuzic.com’); “hopefully Lundbom will start getting more attention for his fresh perspective, both as a writer and player” (Mike Shanley, ‘ShanleyOnMusic’), “[Jon’s playing brings] new ideas to what jazz guitar can be” (Paul Acquaro, ‘Free Jazz Blog’); “Big Five Chord, individually and collectively, is one of the most important [ensembles] around today” (Grego Appelgate Edwards, ‘Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog’). “Olympic-caliber guitar gymnastics” (Bob Gendron, ‘Downbeat’).

In addition to Big Five Chord, Jon also co-leads the Jon Lundbom/Bryan Murray Quartet with tenor saxophonist Bryan Murray. As a sideman, Jon performs regularly with Bryan & the HaggardsWolfe & the WaysideAndi Rae & the Back River Bullies, the ICUP Orchestra, and Aaron Irwin’s Vicious World Project, as well as with Stuart d’Arrietta’s “Belly of a Drunken Piano – The Music of Tom Waits.” Jon has collaborated extensively with a number of theater and performance artists including Andrew Dinwiddie (Catch! Performance Series) and Julia May Jonas (Nellie Tinder); his most recent collaboration with Julia Jonas and Nellie Tinder, “Evelyn,” premiered at the Bushwick Starr in February 2012 and was remounted for the 2013 Other Forces Festival at the Incubator Arts Project at Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

Originally hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Jon began playing guitar in the second grade, more seriously as a young teenager. After years of performing in and around his hometown and a brief tour of Europe, Jon moved to Chicago proper to attend the Jazz Studies program at DePaul University. There he studied Jazz guitar with Bob Palmieri, classical guitar with Mark Maxwell, and improvisation with Larry Novak, Larry Gray, Alan Swain, and others. Also, while at DePaul, Jon studied classical composition with Drs. George Flynn, Kurt Westerburg, and Jeff Kowalkowski (of Jack the Dog).

As Jon’s interests in twentieth-century classical music and more advanced forms of improvisation developed, his music became increasingly informed by non-linear complexity and open improvisational structures. While at DePaul, Jon maintained an active performance schedule, performing frequently under his own name in and around Chicago. He also, along with cellist and composer Andrew Morgan, co-founded both the DePaul University Avant-Garde Music Society and (with guitarist Aaron Solomon) the Seven Days of Stockhausen improvisation collective. Jon also performed or recorded alongside such renowned musicians as Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Ken Vandermark, Fred Lomberg-Holm, Eric Leonardsen, Laurie Lee-Moses, and Bob Falesch.

Upon graduation, Jon relocated to New York City and began performing on the Jazz and improvised music scenes while studying with guitarists such as John Scofield, Ben Monder, and Steve Cardenas. Eventually, Jon began attending the Master’s program at the Manhattan School of Music. There, Jon studied privately with Jack Wilkins, as well as with David Liebman, Chris Rosenberg, and Phil Markowitz, to name a few. Jon left MSM after a semester, however, and began pursuing his own music toward the release of his debut recording, “Big Five Chord.”

“Big Five Chord” features long-time friend and fellow Chicago native Jon Irabagon on alto saxophone, along with Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic) on tenor saxophone, Moppa Elliott (Mostly Other People do the Killing) on bass, and Justin Walke on drums. The album was recorded at Vibromonk Studios in Brooklyn, NY, by Tamir Muskat (Firewater, Big Lazy, Gogol Bordello); mastered by two-time Grammy-award-winner Seth Foster at Universal Mastering; and released in association with For the Artist Records. “Big Five Chord” was released to rave reviews, “[convincing] that fusion can mean something appetizing in the 21st Century” (Jay Collins, ‘One Final Note’); “Lundbom invests his debut recording with an abundance of energy and youthful fearlessness for investigating the possibilities of sonic exploration” (Bill Donaldson, ‘Cadence’).  More reviews here.

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord’s sophomore recording, “All the Pretty Ponies,” was recorded live in New York in Fall of 2004. It features Jon Irabagon on alto saxophone and Moppa Elliott on bass in addition to Bryan Murray on tenor saxophone and Andrew Bain on drums. The album was edited by Charles Lipper and mastered by Seth Foster.  “All the Pretty Ponies” is currently in its third printing.  Reviews here.

In 2009, Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord began recording for New York City’s Hot Cup Records and released their third album, “Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord Accomplish Jazz.” “Accomplish Jazz” features Jon Irabagon, Bryan Murray, Moppa Elliott, and Danny Fischer on drums. “Accomplish Jazz” was recorded by Wayne Dorell at the Pigeon Club, mixed by Gabe Schwartz at Fireplace Studios, and again mastered by Seth Foster.  Praised as “an incredibly impressive third release from a deliriously talented group” (Dave Wayne, ‘JazzReview.com’), “Accomplish Jazz” made numerous end-of-the year lists; Dr. Matt Warnock (‘Guitar International’) said Lundbom’s playing will “challenge the listener to think differently about the instrument and the genre” and called the record “a genre defying, barrier pushing album.” More reviews here.

The fourth Big Five Chord album, “Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!” (same credits), was released on Hot Cup Records in 2011.  The incredible press for “Quavers!…” describes “a tremendously fun album to listen to…a piece of pan-genre experimentalism that defies pigeon-holing” (Tim Niland, ‘All About Jazz’); “Lundbom’s intense phrasings and mind-altering solo spots can exude a semblance of systematic paranoia or command the ensemble like a diesel-powered automaton, wielding a mass of destruction through a heavily populated metropolis” (Glenn Astarita, ‘All About Jazz’). “Without limitations or shame…[Big Five Chord] play music that is as intense as it is hard to question. This disc…shows better than most that there are still new things to say in jazz” (Yahvé M. de la Cavada, ‘El Pais’). More reviews here.

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord’s fifth album of “intense, unpredictable guerrilla jazz” (S. Victor Aaron, ‘Something Else’) – “No New Tunes” (2012) – features for the first time long-time Big Five Chord Philadelphia auxiliary Dan Monaghan on drums. “[Lundbom’s playing brings] new ideas to what jazz guitar can be” (Paul Acquaro, ‘Free Jazz Blog’); he “dismantles the guitar and rebuilds it into something completely brand new” (Erik Otis, ‘Sound Colour Vibration). “Trying to pigeon hole the sound here is next to impossible… This is what some critics mean when they use the phrase ‘cutting edge’ to describe a release… Lundbom is simply amazing” (Brent Black, ‘@CriticalJazz’). “Big Five Chord, individually and collectively, is one of the most important around today. And their latest, ‘No New Tunes,’ is perhaps the strongest album yet” (Grego Appelgate Edwards, ‘Gappelgate Guitar and Bass Blog’). More reviews here.

And now Hot Cup Records has released Big Five Chord’s newest album, a two-CD live recording entitled “Liverevil.”  Recorded live at Brooklyn Fire Proof, “Liverevil” marks Big Five Chord’s sixth album and their first live recording since 2005′s “All the Pretty Ponies.” “Olympic-caliber guitar gymnastics [★★★★]” (Bob Gendron, ‘Downbeat’). “Left leaning, progressive jazz that’s long left the wannabes in the dust… Wild stuff for left leaning ears that really know how to take it. Well done” (Mark Spector, ‘Midwest Record’). “The guitar leads are fresh and bold” (Tom Hull, ‘On the Web’). “The music rocks-out without leaning on jazz fusion as a crutch, and pushes past jazz tradition by plugging into deep grooves” (Mark Corotto, ‘All About Jazz’). More reviews here.

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