The Bad Plus is one of the few jazz trios with a reputation that precedes them, primarily based on their inventive bridging of genres that has steered jazz into new territory -- something that’s been their modus operandi since their first release in 2001. They return to their roots for their eighth album “Never Stop” (Entertainment One Music), a strictly instrumental affair of all original tunes that tap into their brand of industrial jazz, a sound that blows the lid off predictability and passivity.
Bassist Reid Anderson, drummer David King and pianist Ethan Iverson, all friends since high school, dive headlong into a mix of rampaging jazz, indie-rock and “avant-garde populism” (their term) that freely pulls ideas from their encyclopedic knowledge of music history. The program of ten tunes constitute the best this band has to offer whether or not the bristling waves of sound from the lead off tune, “The Radio Tower Has A Beating Heart,” rumple your sensibilities or lets you get your jazz freak on. Not every tune moves like a freight train. The title track dials up a feel-good anthem that’s defined by Iverson’s two-fisted melodic theme and locked in place on the chorus by King’s shuffling combination of high hat and kick drum.
Also of note is the glorious “Beryl Loves To Dance,” a sonic gem that explodes with King’s burly energy over which Iverson embarks on a rollercoaster of sound that careens between sumptuous melodic riffs and wild dissonance. Anderson’s rapid-fire bass notes fan the fire until King takes the song out by pounding the crap out of his kit. A dreamy sensitivity underscores “People Like You,” a ballad by Reid Anderson fueled with an infectious, swirling solo from Iverson. Of course, “Never Stop” doesn’t once fit neatly into a genre box -- that’s what makes it positively sweet. (10 tracks: 56:04 minutes) www.thebadplus.com Check out Iverson’s music blog - thebadplus.typepad.com – one of the best out there!
Labels: David King, Entertainment One Music, EthanIverson, Reid Anderson, The Bad Plus