The Bad Plus is one of those musical anomalies that for jazz lovers, appeal and amuse with their rock tendencies and for the rockers, appeal because of their sense of humor and capability to pull off covers of Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Heart. The trio eeks themselves into that jazz territory that is deemed ‘okay’ (say, Tortoise) by those punks at heart.
The New York/Minnesota trio of Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano) and David King (drums) carry a significant sound not only because of their rock covers, but because of their take on straight-up jazz — heavy and confident bass, precision drumming and creative ivory ticklings that are anything but head-nodding. The Bad Plus keeps its listeners on its toes through stop-start compositions, innovative arrangements and lots of personality that invite world, classical and free-form to take up residence in their releases.
The trio hits up Cathedral Square Park’s Jazz in the Park tonight before shipping off to the Bellevue Jazz Festival in Washington tomorrow. Say ‘hi’ to WMSE’s Tuesday morning (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) Free Jazz BBQ host Dr. Sushi while you’re there. Darn right, he wouldn’t miss a chance to see the Bad Plus! For upcoming Jazz in the Park performances, visit their web site. To listen to the Bad Plus, check out the songs, below.
The Bad Plus, “1979 Semi-Finalist” (radio edit)
The Bad Plus, “Velouria” (radio edit)
The Bad Plus, “Iron Man” (radio edit)