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The Bad Plus go back to their roots

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Friday September 09, 2016

From The Associated Press

Review: The Bad Plus go back to their roots on new CD
By: Charles J. Gans

The Bad Plus, “It’s Hard” (Okeh Records/Sony Music Masterworks)

After focusing mostly on original music on their last four albums, The Bad Plus goes back to their roots on “It’s Hard” with an album of distinctly original covers that recast an eclectic mix of rock and pop tunes in a modern jazz framework.

The leaderless trio of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King first garnered international attention shortly after forming in 2000 by deconstructing songs by Nirvana and ABBA.

Still together, the threesome put their own stamp on tunes by Kraftwerk (”The Robots”), Peter Gabriel (”Games Without Frontiers”), Ornette Coleman (”Broken Shadows”) and fellow Minnesotan Prince (”The Beautiful Ones”), recorded shortly before his death.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ”Maps” is turned into high-energy free jazz, while Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is given a darkly lyrical interpretation.

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