Home Read Classic Album Review: The Bad Plus | Give

Classic Album Review: The Bad Plus | Give

The post-bop power trio inject their downtown jazz with a hefty dose of rock covers.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Think jazz is just for the granddads and the geeks? Think again, chump.

Meet The Bad Plus, a downtown jazzbo power trio on a mission to get the O.C. generation swinging to a brand-new beat. Actually, make that a familiar old beat: The BPs make a point of recasting classic rock cuts into post-modern bop-based instrumental workouts. Last year they revamped Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and Blondie’s Heart of Glass on their debut disc These Are The Vistas; for their sophomore offering Give, Black Sabbath’s plodding Iron Man and Pixies’ alt-rock chestnut Velouria get the workover treatment. But we’re not talking about some sort of tinkly, cocktail-lounge piano Muzak; with their two-fisted piano pounding, clattering drum explosions and thick, ropy standup bass lines, these boys give a whole new meaning to the term power trio. So even though you’ll come for the novelty tracks, you’ll stay for the aggressive performances, sterling musicianship and genre-busting attitude that allows them to mix originals, heavy metal and post-punk with the other O.C. — Ornette Coleman. Don’t forget to bring your granddad along for the ride.