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.
|SOURCE||FM||SOUND QUALITY||A+||FORMAT||Mp3||BITRATE||256||TRACKS #||7|
|LOCATION / VENUE||London||Jazz cafe||DATE||29–06–08|