One of the most compelling modern groups in jazz does it again – taking the simple piano trio format and giving it a spin that's sure to catch even the most wary of ears! These guys aren't exactly funky, but they play in a freely rhythmic style that brings new life to anything they touch – and honestly, they're one of the few groups in jazz who could cover recent pop material and actually make us like it! There's an approach here that's almost in the mode of Medeski Martin & Wood – with open and experimental, yet still rhythmic and swinging – and always a fresh delight overall.
Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and Minneapolis-based drummer David King are the Bad Plus, and they bill themselves as "the loudest piano trio ever." Upon hearing them play, one is not inclined to quibble. In any case, they're certainly the only jazz group to cover ABBA's "Knowing Me, Knowing You," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon" on the same disc. Iverson and Anderson each contribute two previously unrecorded originals. King, for his part, penned the persistently grooving "1972 Bronze Medalist."
WITH THE DEAD, the new U.K.-based band featuring members of CATHEDRAL (Lee Dorrian) and ELECTRIC WIZARD (guitar/bass Tim Bagshaw and drums by Mark Greening), will release its six-track, self-titled debut on October 16 via Rise Above Records
With a reputation for deconstructing popular songs and the avant-garde, it seems natural for the bad boys of jazz, The Bad Plus, to record their version of Stravinsky's controversial masterpiece The Rite of Spring. This new recording captures The Bad Plus' unique version of the piece that they debuted on tour in 2011 in a multi-media program entitled "On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring." The show received critical acclaim at every stop with the New York Times calling their interpretation "electrifying," and the Boston Globe describing it as "exhilarating…dramatic, dynamic."