[JPL] The Bad Plus strikes again

Bobby Jackson ftapache1 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 13 23:45:58 EST 2009


The Bad Plus............OH NO!  Here we go again.  I remember this bad  
road very well.  I've spoken to them, I've heard them "live" and I've  
listened to ALL of their records.  Jazz is not even in the room when  
you hear their music live or recorded.  I laughed out loud at their  
concert and it was totally reflexive, totally spontaneous.  That's  
what I felt hearing them 'live."  There were regular jazz people in  
the audience and most were confused and there were alot of young  
people that I've never seen at jazz concerts in Cleveland.  In my  
opinion that was their music and they will not go to a real jazz  
concert.

I have very good friends who are programmers that swear by them but  
they are doing something else and it's not jazz.



On Jan 13, 2009, at 11:20 PM, Jae Sinnett wrote:

> Sponsored by: JazzWeek Summit 2009
>              http://summit.jazzweek.com/
>
> -----
>
> Well said Jeff but the "rise" from this jazz person isn't related to  
> if the Bad Plus is playing jazz or not. I could care less if they  
> do. I love a LOT of non jazz music but I like it played well. When I  
> hear Booker T play a groove...it grooves and you feel it. When I  
> hear Zeppelin rock...they rocked and you felt it. When I hear Jimi  
> playing the blues...he's playing the blues and you feel it. With me  
> it's about the music and how well it's played, conceived, developed  
> and presented. Absolutely nothing grooves or feels good on this  
> record to me. Nothing. One of the most soul-less records I've heard  
> in many years.
>
> In spots frantic...in spots contrived...in spots astonishingly  
> vocally weak and out of tune...in spots rhythmically and  
> harmonically elementary... but this said...they are appealing to a  
> portion of the "twenty something" crowd. In most cases in this area  
> you obviously don't have to have those musical elements together to  
> have a following or get good press. Twenty somethings are writing  
> about the music they like and apparently many like them. You don't  
> have to swing or groove. You can just play the cool song dude.  
> That's all it takes sometimes. I played "Everyone Wants To Rule the  
> World" from their "Prog" release. I felt that so I can view them  
> objectively. Here though... a totally different story.
>
> Jae Sinnett
>
>
> --- On Tue, 1/13/09, Jeff Turton <jturton at comcast.net> wrote:
>
>> From: Jeff Turton <jturton at comcast.net>
>> Subject: Re: [JPL] The Bad Plus
>> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>> Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 10:25 PM
>> Sponsored by: JazzWeek Summit 2009
>>             http://summit.jazzweek.com/
>>
>> -----
>>
>> The Bad Plus continues to get a rise out of Jazz folk. I
>> figured that the reaction from most would be a bit of
>> consternation when they put this one on. So what are The Bad
>> Plus trying to do ? I think you'd have to ask them but I
>> don't really think it's a huge leap from their past
>> records. I guess past recordings could be considered more
>> Jazz like because they were all instrumental, though
>> that's been widely debated over the years. I would not
>> necessarily consider it a Jazz record, maybe Acoustic
>> Alternative with a Jazz Sensibility ? That's  just a
>> guess on my part. I really enjoyed Wendy's vocals. She
>> reminds me a lot of a Boston singer named Amanda Palmer
>> who's part of a group called Dresden Dolls. Wendy is not
>> a Jazz vocalist and I doubt she cares to try and sing the
>> American Songbook. I think what The Bad Plus has done is
>> taken songs from the likes of Nirvana, Flaming Lips, Pink
>> Floyd (Comfortably Numb is probably my favorite tune on the
>> disc) and Wilco among others and given the material new
>> possibilities. It is definitely aimed at a younger
>> Alternative audience, which has been a big part of their fan
>> base since the beginning. All the Bad Plus shows I've
>> been to are mostly twentysomethings and definitely not a
>> jazz audience. They've been doing this material from the
>> beginning, they've finally added the vocal element. I
>> guess they could have gotten a vocalist with more of a jazz
>> approach but that's not certainly not the direction
>> they've decided to pursue. Personally I like this record
>> a lot and it certainly makes it easier finding something to
>> close the show with. It's tough finding stuff
>> that'll go up against Green Day or something just as
>> jarring, which is what happens when FNX goes back to format
>> after the Jazz Brunch. A tune like Lithium would more than
>> hold it's own when facing that kind of a musical shift.
>>
>> Jeff Turton
>> WFNX Jazz brunch
>>
>> This from an interview at the end of December in a
>> Minneapolis based publication. I think probably says it all
>>
>> MinnPost: Why a singer? Why Wendy Lewis?
>>
>> Dave King: We felt like it was time to collaborate with
>> someone, and we thought we might as well go all the way and
>> make a record with vocals. We were looking at singers and
>> thinking about asking some star-type people, but then we
>> decided we'd end up being the backing band, and the
>> whole idea was, this is a guest for us. We talked about Tom
>> Jones … we talked about Darryl Hall. Then we thought,
>> we've gotta get someone who can deal with this kind of
>> crazy music. I had played with Wendy years ago. Reid was a
>> fan of her music. She ended up working beautifully.
>>
>> MP: So this isn't a response to "is the Bad Plus
>> jazz or not"?
>>
>> DK: We're not concerned about that. We just believe in
>> what we're doing. You're into it or you're not.
>> We like being hard to classify. All of our heroes were hard
>> to classify.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jan 13, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Jae Sinnett wrote:
>>
>>> Sponsored by: JazzWeek Summit 2009
>>>             http://summit.jazzweek.com/
>>>
>>> -----
>>>
>>> Okay, I'll hold the tongue on this one but can
>> someone help me please...what is it? A little insight would
>> be helpful in understanding what they are doing or trying to
>> do on this record.
>>>
>>> Jae Sinnett
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>>
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>
>
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