Saturday, January 01, 2011

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Happy New Year with The Bad Plus

Once again in 2011, the eclectic piano trio The Bad Plus will be the first performers of the new year at Jazz at the Bistro, where they'll appear Wednesday, January 5 through Saturday, January 8. TBP's latest CD Never Stop came out in September, and it's likely that their St. Louis sets will include ample helpings of material from that recording.

So, today we've got some video clips of some recent performances of songs from Never Stop, which is the first TBP album to feature all original material.

First up is the title track, recorded in October at Club Panama in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The stripped down arrangement hints at minimalism and techno, both acknowledged influences on The Bad Plus, which have been combined and rendered here with a few characteristic twists.

Below is a version of "Super America" recorded in September in Montreal. As the title suggests, this one has sort of an Americana feel, almost Coplandesque in a way, but also slightly tongue in cheek. In the third slot is "My Friend Metatron," recorded at the same gig in Amsterdam as the first selection.

In the fourth embedded window, you can see the band's entire set from the Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Virginia, recorded in September 2010. The visuals are fairly basic, but the audio's nice, and, taken together with the preceding clips, you can get a reasonable idea of some of what you might expect to hear next week.

For more about Never Stop, check out the "Extended Liner Notes" that ran on NPR's A Blog Supreme in September, featuring commentary from TBP's Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and Dave King, as well as this review of the CD from's Peter Hum. The Wall Street Journal this past week also published a worthy feature on TBP, which you can see here.

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