Jazz for a new decade

Part of the reason I like the Bad Plus is how their albums, their song choices, their very existence give lie to the notion that jazz music ossified in the 1960s. Much as I admire Wynton Marsalis, he and his cohorts play mostly the same kind of stuff that Miles Davis made for Columbia 50 years ago. The Bad Plus face rock and roll head on and aren’t afraid to lead the vanguard in adapting it to jazz improvisation–witness their take on Radiohead’s “Karma Police” below, or check out their covers of Nirvana, Rush, and Black Sabbath. We saw them play in Burlington Saturday night and it was everything I hoped for. They’re energetic, disciplined, and tight as can be. Mighty big sound too for a piano, stand-up bass, and drums.

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