The Bad Plus is set to release their newest album, Made Possible, on September 25, 2012. After following this band for over a decade and watching as they shifted the paradigm from what a jazz trio should and can do, to what a jazz trio is possible of, I am as excited for this record release as any in memory. The mark The Bad Plus has already left on the music world is permanent, but they continue to spread their wings musically and culturally. With imaginative arrangements of rock songs coupled alongside driving original compositions, The Bad Plus has ushered in a new generation of jazz audiences who might not have otherwise spoke this language.
In more recent years, the ensemble has felt the need to expand their pallet to include heroic arrangements of classical masterworks from composers such as Milton Babbitt and Igor Stravinsky. I was at the recent Lincoln Center performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and could not have been more pleased with both the success of the performance or the success of the audience. As a classical musician myself, I was all too pleased to share my love of Stravinsky's music with a large and diverse crowd at such a beautiful and unique outdoor venue.
Made Possible looks to be an album which continues their arc towards original composition that borrows from all worlds of musical language. However, I am most excited to hear their progression as pioneers in rhythmically based jazz minimalism. Furthermore, at the Lincoln center performance TBP performed several new compositions which completely camouflaged my sense of the groups meter. It is because of this I know that my enjoyment of this album will only grow as my time passes with it.
"This band contains some of the most punk energy I've ever seen, or felt as a musician. It just doesn't need to do it so obviously…. That's our statement, is that it's complex emotion." – Dave King