Saturday, January 02, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Four from The Bad Plus

Today, we turn our video spotlight on The Bad Plus, who will be returning to St. Louis next Wednesday, January 6 through Saturday, January 9 to perform at Jazz at the Bistro.

The collective/cooperative trio, which includes Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, and drummer David King, is one of the most discussed and written-about jazz groups of the past decade. Their recordings of cover versions of songs usually identified as pop, rock or classical music have provided an easy "hook" for journalists, but their considerable musicianship and their skill at collective and individual improvisation are what have guaranteed the continued attention of the press and public.

This is the fourth consecutive calendar year that TBP has kicked off at the Bistro, and so they've been featured in previous StLJN Saturday video posts here, here and here. However, today we've got several video clips previously unseen in this space as well as some fresh links.

The first clip provides an example of The Bad Plus' reimaginings of material from unexpected sources; in this case, it's Black Sabbath's old proto-metal staple "Iron Man," recorded by TBP on their 2004 CD Give. Down below, there are videos of a couple of the group's original songs, "Laying A Strip For The Higher Self State Line," also from Give, and "Rhinoceros Is My Profession" from 2005's Suspicious Activity? The fourth clip features TBP and singer Wendy Lewis performing Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb, which was featured on their most recent CD (and their first to incorporate vocals), 2009's For All I Care.

The Bad Plus come to St. Louis following their tenth consecutive Christmas week stand at the Dakota in Minneapolis, and a week of shows at NYC's Village Vanguard, one of which was broadcast nationally by NPR on New Year's Eve and is now available for listening via online stream. I wrote a short critic's pick about them that appears in this week's Riverfront Times and can be read online here, and got the chance to chat with bassist Reid Anderson for a short piece for the RFT's A to Z music blog, which will be linked here directly when it goes online in a couple of days.

Also, veteran St. Louis-based music writer Dan Durchholz talked to drummer David King for a story published in yesterday's Post-Dispatch and available online here. Last but not least, be sure to check out TBP's own blog Do The Math, which features Iverson's music criticism and essays, interviews with other musicians, and other interesting content.

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