First of all here's a link to the All Music Guide review of The Bad Plus' latest release Prog<!--color-->
Now while I agree in principle to most of what the reviewer is saying, I do so to a much lesser degree. For example towards the end of the review he starts to gush about the grandness of their original compositions while I, on the other hand, would say that although their originals are very interesting, they are far from grand. Overreaching, yes. Hitting the mark, maybe sometimes but not always. For the most part the musicianship is very good but rarely outstanding.
I tend to group The Bad Plus together with the Swedish piano trio E.S.T., although E.S.T. rarely does covers of modern rock songs, a stable of The Bad Plus. Overall I would say that The Bad Plus have a heavier sound than E.S.T. but both trios take a very similar to music making. Neither trio stays very close to standard jazz conventions, often straying way out into decidedly non-jazz territory. That's not to say that the music becomes freer or more avant-garde because it doesn't. It just becomes less jazz like. For example The Bad Plus' songs progress without such jazz staples as a brief section of "trading eights" or the head-solos-head song format. Throw in David King's hard rock tinged drumming and I can well understand why many people would find their music so intriguing, I often do.