Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New Music Tuesday - The Bad Plus

Minneapolis' power jazz trio The Bad Plus are back in action today with a new label (after 3 albums on Columbia Records) and a new album called Prog. This trio of instrumentalists (Reid Anderson on bass/Ethan Iverson on piano/David King on drums) mix modal jazz, power trio rock-isms and math rock into their heady brew of originals and covers. Covers are a big part of the appeal of these guys to me (they've always been known for their range of covers, from Nirvana to the Pixes to Black Sabbath). As well as the band's own sharp and angular compositions, this album has four interesting covers; Bowie's Life On Mars, Burt Bacharach's This Guy's In Love With You, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Rush's Tom Sawyer. Insanity? On paper you'd think so, but in reality it's pretty cool. I like the vibe on Everybody Wants To Rule The World a lot - it captures the melancholy mood of the original anthem. It's interesting to note that Patti Smith also covered this song recently, although her version failed to move me. The Rush cover IS insanity, but it's inspired insanity, and this power trio has the heft to pull off the meaty groove.

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