Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Bad Plus – Prog CD Review

Never have I been inspired to use the words “brilliant” and “musicians” together, that is until now – or should I say once I heard “Prog”. These “brilliant musicians” that I speak of are called “The Bad Plus”, a jazz trio from the Midwest who play almost beyond my comprehension. They are far out, and not in the psychedelic way, but in the outer-space-later-years-of-Coltrane way.

“Prog” is their seventh release and is the first one that I have heard (where have I been, I know). Covering and interpreting Rock and Pop tunes is a specialty of theirs and there are plenty to look for on this CD. It is fantastic what they do with their originals too, I've never heard a 9 quite like this. They are creative with and in meters and I swear they make up their own sometimes, a secret language of musical communication. Maybe they don't always communicate with each other in meters, maybe its something us earthly folks haven't gotten to yet, maybe its in pictures or colors or impressions. They do call themselves a "Collective" ya know, humm. Well you certainly have to be together on this one.

Here are the tracks:

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – 4/4
REM cover – check out the drums on this, I think he goes some where in between Saturn and Neptune, but the piano keeps in close to earth (on this one).

Physical Cites – 5/16, 3/4, 10/8 (that’s what I got) plus their own collective meters
As opposed to the kind of cities in other dimensions that I am sure they visit.

Life on Mars – 4/4
See I told you they were from outer space – Bowie Cover, but they conveniently left out the question mark. Bowie was asking us if there was, I think the Bad Plus knows the truth there.

Mint – 4/4 + their own
(this song is annoying)

Giant – 9/8
Sedately beautiful

Thriftstore Jewelry – 4/4, 6/4, 9/8
(that’s how I counted it anyways, I think there is some collective meters in there) really cool bass groove ending

Tom Sawyer – 4/4, 7/8
Wicked cool deconstruction of this anthem – yep, the piano leaves earth a bit for this one

This Guy is In Love With You 6/8
Burt Bachrach tune

The World is the Same – 4/4

1980 World Champion – 9/8

Who knew jazz could be this fun? If you like just any old jazz, then I am not sure you will be into what The Bad Plus have to say. But, if you like to groove in new realms and if you like to hear true artists challenge your musical comprehension – then please – delve deep into these brilliant musical minds.

Keep Counting,
-Countess B
for more review go to Odd Time Obsessed - Reviews

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