Saturday, January 12, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Made Possible by The Bad Plus

This week, we feature some video clips of The Bad Plus, who will be back in St. Louis next Wednesday, January 16 through Saturday, January for what's become an annual four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro.

Since StLJN has covered those previous visits in some detail, let's assume today that those interested in the group's back story can follow the links, and instead today devote our attention to Made Possible, The Bad Plus' ninth album together, which was released in September.

Like its immediate predecessor, 2010's Never Stop, this newest record concentrates on original compositions by members of the group, eschewing the idiosyncratic cover versions of rock and pop material that initially helped TBP make their reputation. It also features some use of electronic instruments - a departure for TBP, though the electronics are used mostly to augment, rather than disrupt, their signature style of interplay among piano, bass and drums.

Up above, you can the electronic press kit for Made Possible, which includes some music samples and interview quotes and provides an overview of the project.

Down below, there are videos of live versions of four songs from the album, starting with the opener "Pound for Pound," recorded in October 2012 at The Mint in Los Angeles. That's followed by a version of "Seven Minute Mind" from a May 2012 performance in Santiago, Chile; an early live version of "In Stitches" from May, 2010 in Paris; and finally, "For My Eyes Only," recorded here in St. Louis by an audience member using a camera phone during The Bad Plus' last visit to the Bistro in January 2012.

(Note that since these clips all were shot by audience members using handheld devices, the quality varies from pretty good to just barely watchable. While there's little doubt that better-recorded videos of this material eventually will show up online, for now these seem to be the best versions out there.)

For a bit more about Made Possible and The Bad Plus' other recent activities, check out some of the latest  entries on pianist Ethan Iverson's blog Do The Maththis feature from the January 2103 issue of Stereophile magazine; and this review of one of their shows in December at the Dakota in Minneapolis. 

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