THE BAD PLUS’ “For All I Care”
(Heads Up, 2009):
When I caught pianist Ethan Iverson’s trio at the Freihoffer’s Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Festival a few years back, I thought their hipper-than-thou, ironic-to-the-point-of-arrogance attitude simply overpowered the band’s obvious chops and imagination. The addition of vocalist Wendy Lewis on this – their sixth album in six years – goes a long way in leavening their snarky approach to the rock-canon-as-jazz-standards. Yes, this is a crazy-quilt repertoire – including Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Wilco, Heart and country singer Roger Miller, as well as classical mavericks Stravinsky and Ligetti – but it works marvelously.
Best of the bunch? Yes’ “Long Distance Runaround” and the Flaming Lips’ “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.”