The Bad Plus

Pop-Influenced Jazz

Wed, Dec 8

The Bad Plus are a jazz trio from Minneapolis, Minn., who are as influenced by modern Avant-garde jazz as well as rock and pop, and have made a name by recording jazz versions of songs by Nirvana, Aphex Twin, Blondie, Ornette Coleman, Pixies, Rush, Tears for Fears, Neil Young, David Bowie, Yes, Interpol, and Black Sabbath.

After receiving critical raves from the New York Times and Chicago Reader, they were signed by Columbia Records and released “These Are the Vistas,” which was produced by stranger-to-jazz and ex-Latin Playboy Tchad Blake.

That album presented original compositions from each musician, as well as a few ringers from the musical world outside the borders of jazz. Their re-imaginations of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”(which Iverson had reportedly never heard before), Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” and Aphex Twin’s “Flim” caused tails to wag, but it was the trio’s powerful mixture of personality and performance that really defined them.

“Audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio crunches and at times pulverizes swing to let improvisational freedom shine…Dynamics play a huge roll in the act’s music, as does humor, an element sorely lacking in most of contemporary jazz. But beauty is also key… jazz purists tremble while the vanguard flocks.” – Billboard

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