Posts Tagged ‘The Bad Plus’

LIVE: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Zankel Music Center, 10/23/15

Thursday, November 12th, 2015
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

The stage set at the Zankel Music Center for tenor master Joshua Redman and jazz provocateurs The Bad Plus (aka The Bad Plus Joshua Redman) was pretty bare-bones: drums, stand-up bass, piano, a tall stool and big mic for Redman… and a mahogany lectern with a simple green-and-gold “Skidmore College” banner hanging from the top of the dais. Did this show come with a lecture? Was this going to be on the Final? As it happened, the podium hadn’t been left out after an afternoon symposium. Skidmore President Dr. Philip A. Glotzbach used it to welcome the SRO crowd to the fifth anniversary celebration of the opening of Zankel Music Center.

Honestly, I was shocked; aside from the fact that I hadn’t known this was a special night, it seems like Zankel has been around forever, even though I was there opening night when Redman and piano icon Brad Mehldau christened the stage with an amazing set of mind-blowing duets. The Bad Plus also played Zankel during that opening season, though I missed that show. Now, these two major forces were back here, together, and thanks to the Zankel NOT being the Corning Preserve, we were able to hear every riveting syllable of the new musical language they have created.

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Five Reasons to See The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Alive at Five Today

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

JoshuaRedman

Story by J Hunter
Drawing by Charles H. Haymes

NUMBER FIVE:
At this time of year, you usually only see second-generation tenor man Joshua Redman and the infamous acoustic trio The Bad Plus at places like Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, where the price of a 1-day lawn pass is $60 and inside seats go for $85 a pop – and that’s before you throw down for whatever expensive-but-worth-it drinks and vittles are for sale. Alive at Five is a free show. Do the math.

NUMBER FOUR:
This dizzying pairing is like one of those one-off comic books where superheroes you normally never see together – Superman and Spider-Man, for instance – have a hellacious fight before joining forces and defeating some amorphous super-villain. This show pairs an artist and a band that have cut separate (but equally brilliant) swathes through the jazz world over the last 20 years. The only villains on hand at Jennings Landing will be heat and humidity, and we’ll all be fighting them.

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LIVE: The Bad Plus @ The Egg, 2/8/14

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
The Bad Plus (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

The Bad Plus (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Bender Mellon

It had been three years since I’d seen the Bad Plus, and the previous circumstances were not conducive to a satisfying listening experience: They were in the middle of the Main Stage bill at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, and SPAC’s amphitheater eats piano trios like I eat Brown Bag burgers – quickly, completely and with gusto. The fact is, TBP needs a small space and a dedicated audience to do that insane voodoo they’ve been doing for over a decade. In The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, they had both.

Most bands go for your throat right from the jump in concert, regardless of their genre. Maybe TBP chose bassist Reid Anderson’s slow, somber “Pound for Pound” as an opener because they knew the evening would get weird and wild later on, and they wanted to pace both themselves and the almost-full house. Either way, Dave King’s drumbeat was both martial and funereal as Ethan Iverson’s piano chords stayed sparse as he helped his partners build the foundation. Only the piece’s off-time meter separated this tune from any other memorial.

The mournful tone sort of remained the same, but bit-by-bit, the piece got wider and more colorful as all three players started adding more ingredients one by one – a riff here, a trill there. Iverson finally started a solo (of a kind), which King automatically countered. In normal jazz terms, that usually means both players were going off the hook… but then again, the Bad Plus are not a normal jazz outfit. Iverson’s always been a site-specific noisemaker, and “Pound” didn’t call for any major pyrotechnics. And while King’s pom-pommed white wool hat and grey slackerwear helped make him look like the madman drummer we all know and love, he wasn’t ready to blow up real good just yet. The piece never lost its unpredictability, but compared with what was to come, “Pound” was a pretty soft opener.

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Live: The Bad Plus @ Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center, 11/4/10

Friday, November 12th, 2010
The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus – the nuevo-jazz trio of uber-improvisers – rolled into Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center on a recent laid-back, sleepy Thursday night, touring in support of their latest album “Never Stop.” But the threesome could have awakened the dead with the urgent, dynamic onslaught of their power-laden musical excursions into jazz’s outer limits.

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