Musical Partners in Crime

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Thursday December 06, 2018

From The Lexington Herald Leader

Jazz at the children’s theatre? These ‘musical partners in crime’ are playing there.
By: Walter Tunis

The Minneapolis-rooted jazz troupe, which performs at the Lexington Children’s Theatre on Dec. 9 as part of the Origins Jazz Series, has flipped the sound, as well as the repertoire, of the conventional piano trio on its ear with playing that covers a broad range of jazz traditions while remaining open to areas of more fractured improvisation. Fueling that sense of adventure has been 18 years worth of cunning original tunes augmented by a penchant for interpreting everything from Stravinsky to Black Sabbath.

[…] ‘First of all, everything was very natural from the moment Dave and I started playing with Orrin,’ Anderson said. ‘Just the first few rehearsals of introducing him to the new music and playing it with him felt very organic, easy and natural. But we didn’t do a lot of playing with him. We didn’t have the opportunity, based on the circumstances. In fact, the record is basically a document of us kind of performing that music for the very first time. It was more a matter of just understanding the structures of the tunes and so forth. I think it’s also a testament to what a great fit Orrin is for the band.

In addition to really striving to be a great rhythm section, we try to combine each of our roles in the music. In The Bad Plus, those roles can get turned on their head a little bit, too. Sometimes we look for different ways we can use our instrumentation that doesn’t necessarily conform to what is expected. Sometimes, it might be the piano and bass accompanying the drums more or vice versa. People can take control in different ways. I think all of those elements come together in terms of how we develop as a rhythm section. We’re kind of musical partners in crime.’

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