Monday, May 7, 2007

Central Daylight Jazz Savings Time

Most folks know the Bad Plus as that one wacky jazz trio that plays a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." True enough. That was the Minneapolis band's first cover, and it launched them instantly into the international limelight.

But what kept them there was their innovative new approach to jazz as credentialed outsiders. The jazz world being what it is--increasingly like the classical scene, a living museum of dusty old standards where the one thing that cannot be tolerated is any attempt to set the clock ahead--they were reviled there, but embraced by the same sort of folks ten years ago who went bananas for Medeski Martin and Wood. Jazz futurists steeped in rock 'n' roll.

Tomorrow, Twin Citizens Dave King, Reid Anderson, and Ethan Iverson release their fourth studio album. Word is that this recording, called "Prog," is truer to the band's live sound--not so lo-fi or minimalist. The usual repertoire of cover tunes is here, too. We're especially interested in Bowie's "Life on Mars" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer," and there are two others that you'll have to track down yourself. Consider it delayed gratification.

The Bad Plus,

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