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jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
The Bad Plus - Prog

First of all here's a link to the All Music Guide review of The Bad Plus' latest release Prog

Prog Review

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.

dbowker's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Re: The Bad Plus - Prog

I've been a big fan of the Bad Plus since their first album was released. I've seen them a few times, most recently about a month ago. The odd thing is, I love seeing them live, but rarely can get through an entire album. I'm not sure why that is, other than that it get a little too bombastic in the home environment.

Great for demo tracks BTW- if your system can hold all that bass, drums and piano pounding together without sounding like mush, you know you've got a good set up. I think they'll be at the New Orleans Jazz Fest this weekend--- I'll be there and catch them again for sure.

rabpaul's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jan 6 2008 - 8:58pm
Re: The Bad Plus - Prog

I completely forgot that I had put "Prog" into my Amazon shopping cart like in end January, well its on its way to me now.
I too am a fan and currently own "Give" and "These are the Vistas".
When it comes to music reviews I somehow prefer to trust the opinions of hi-fi equipment reviewers although I do like to read about an artists's work from a music site. I bought the album "Give" because a reviewer used it give a sub a workout. So I always read hi-fi reviews even though I am not in the market to buy anything just to see what music is being used and often introduced.

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