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Monday, July 28, 2008

the Bad Plus - Calculated eclecticism

Mixing classical music, free jazz and legendary pop songs, the Bad Plus display an irresistible impetuosity, and no hint of calculating eclecticism. The group's regular fans cheer the opening bars of familiar pieces, but they cheer its tumultuous journeys into improv outlands, too. Both kinds of acclaim were fervently expressed on the trio's single London performance at the end of a three-date trip to the UK.
With last year's Prog album, the group's original composing took a leap forward. Their current repertoire combines memorable pieces from that set - such as bassist Reid Anderson's hypnotic slow-burner Giant - with more contemporary-classical elements, such as unceremonious adaptations of pieces by Stravinsky and Ligeti. Tonight's opener was a lyrical Stravinsky miniature, given a baroque gleam by pianist Ethan Iverson's trills and grace notes, and a fitful, punky brutality by Dave King's free-percussion bursts. Jagged funk came hard on its heels in the two King pieces that followed: a tiptoeing episode of soft, high bass flutters and delicate piano trickles preceded a choppy feature in which Iverson's lengthening lines increasingly ran at odds to the beat.
Iverson's Old Money began with bursts of busy melody and turned into a mercurial stream of piano improv over King's racing pulse, while Reid Anderson's Silence Is the Question swelled from quietly rocking bass into an intense, insistently looping trance. All the trio members now seem to be producing memorable music that upstages their earlier covers repertoire. It sounds as though this resourceful group is now well into phase two.

Set List:

- Dirty Blonde
- Giant
- Metal
the Bad Plus - London jazz Cafe 2008- And Here We Test The Powers of Observation
- Silence is the Question
- Flim - Aphex Twin cover
- Have You Met Mrs Jones
- Physical Cities

LOCATION / VENUELondon  Jazz cafeDATE29–06–08

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Blogger jediroller said...

Thanks for that!

There are 8 entries on the track listing, but only 7 files. Do you know which one is missing?

9:11 AM  
Anonymous zazafromjohor said...

Well, When I caut the tracks I could only find 7 of them despite the setlist givin me 8. There is porbably a track made of 2!!!???

11:10 AM  
Blogger jediroller said...

I'll have to listen closely to figure that out. Thanks for the reply!

By the way, small error in the date - it should read 29-06-08 :)

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to track 3? It cuts out early and there's the best part of a minute's silence at the end. Perhaps there's another 2 tracks' worth disappeared into a black hole.

9:01 AM  

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