Mehldau/The Bad Plus in Paste's Decade's Best

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Tuesday December 29, 2009

“A Very Personal, Highly Idiosyncratic Musical Overview of the Aughts”

Excerpt From Paste Magazine Online:

Jazz Finds a New Canon

I have nothing against George Gershwin or Cole Porter. They were marvelous songwriters. But their songs have formed the backbone of jazz for more than eighty years now. Do we really need another interpretation of ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’? Do we really need to give Rod Stewart another excuse to plunder the Great American Songbook?

And so it was a great pleasure to watch jazz musicians adapt during the Aughts. Pianist Brad Mehldau championed the music of Radiohead and Nick Drake. Punk piano trio The Bad Plus covered Nirvana and The Pixies, and deconstructed The Bee Gees. Jazz found a new canon, and if the old standards will never entirely go away (thank God), there was ample evidence that the genre was evolving, assimilating the great music of the near past, just as it always has.