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The Bad Plus: Jazz Standouts

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Friday January 19, 2018

From The Rolling Stone

Review: Jazz Standouts the Bad Plus Weather a Lineup Change With Grace on ‘Never Stop II’
By: Hank Shteamer

Never Stop – The Bad Plus’ first album of all originals, and also their strongest full-length up to that point – was an obvious mid-career milestone. The sequel is another. The Bad Plus’ third covers-free set, it’s also their first to feature a lineup change, with Orrin Evans stepping in for co-founder Ethan Iverson on piano. Still, the album couldn’t sound more consistent with the core Bad Plus M.O., which has always been about putting distinctive, memorable songs first and letting them guide the band’s exploratory, idiosyncratic improvisations.

The trio’s performance follows a classic jazz form, with the theme bracketing a brief, understated Evans solo, and King keeping simple time on brushes. No one musician stands out; instead, it’s the song that’s the star – a sign that, personnel swap aside, Never Stop II is Bad Plus business as usual.

Read the whole review here