Reviews that mention Bryan Murray
April 12, 2019
Harder on the Outside
Hot Cup Records 181
Combining improvisational smarts with rhythmic grooves, guitarist Jon Lundbom and his New York-based Big Five Chord (BFC) have churned out another set of tracks that you can play for your Rock, Roots and Metal loving friends without aggravating pure Jazz associates. That’s because beneath the appropriate foot-tapping bombast are finely honed concepts.
Assisted by band members who have worked with everyone from Randy Brecker to David Byrne, BFC inhabit the vortex where Albeert Ayler and Link Wray may have found common ground. At the same time while the guitarist can shred and splinter frails with the best, he also exhibits easygoing chromatic picking when needed. Saxophonists Justin Wood, who plays alto and soprano and Bryan Murray who plays tenor and balto! (sic) are involved in intricate contrapuntal strategies when not honking and shronking. Moppa Elliot’s thick double-bass thwacks propel the beat while drummer Dan Monaghan shades the tunes with rim shots and bounces as much as his rugged smacks drive them. MORE
February 6, 2015
Hot Cup 142
By Ken Waxman
Happily Jon Lundbom is a guitarist. For if the leader of Big Five Chord played a horn he might have trouble improvising with his tongue stuck firmly in his check. Composer and chief instigator of Jeremiah’s seven tracks, the now Austin-based Lundbom, like his Hot Cup label mate and Big Five Chord bassist Moppa Elliott, creates hard-swinging tunes that also have a sardonic edge.
Chief sidekick in providing these sly sonic winks as the tunes are performed is saxophonist Bryan Murray, leader of the country/jazz unit Bryan & the Haggards, of which the guitarist is also a member. Throughout Murray emphasizes the disruptive qualities of his horns, with the timbres from tenor saxophone and balto! saxophone – an alto with a baritone mouthpiece and a plastic reed – snarling and stretching sandpaper-like tones as if he’s bar-walking in the funkiest roadhouse imaginable. Prime example of this is on “First Harvest” as the tenor’s hard-edged growl leaps out to toughen up the meandering melody. Also in on the mordant japes in this, the Five Chords’ seventh CD, are soprano saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Sam Kulik and Justin Wood on alto saxophone and flute. Drummer Dan Monaghan and Elliott keep the beat constantly shifting between shuffle and swing. Meantime another of the session's highlights occurs on “Scratch Ankle”, where a thrilling exchange of unbridled enthusiasm between the trombonist’s drooling, gutbucket smears and Irabagon’s slippery nasality is framed by controlled melodic lines. MORE
April 29, 2010
Hot Cup 093
Mostly Other People Do The Killing
Hot Cup 091
Pastiche, post-modernism and parody are the words that come to mind when examining discs by these youngish interconnected improvisers. Having expanded their chops in post-secondary academic surroundings; having internalized the message of downtowners like John Zorn that no music is sacrosanct; and having adopted the D-I-Y ethic of indie-rockers to release their own recordings – plus possessing formidable talent – these musicians have quickly made names for themselves. Yet as swinging and entertaining as many of the tracks are on these CDs – and they are that in spades – the question of what the next step should be for these seven players hangs in the air. MORE