The Bad Plus: Goodbye, Hello

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Wednesday April 04, 2018

From JazzTimes

The Bad Plus: Goodbye, Hello: David Fricke says farewell to the original Bad Plus during their final Village Vanguard run-and looks forward to the band’s bold new era
By: David Fricke

[…] Spending the week approaching New Year’s Eve at the Vanguard had become a tradition for the Bad Plus. This stand was Iverson’s last-a final holiday round for the New York faithful. It was also an acknowledgement, in its repertoire and its concentrated reprise of original strengths, that an exceptional adventure in piano-trio brotherhood had been stuck at a crossroads for some time.

In some ways, Evans’ arrival is business uninterrupted. As before, the trio is a joining of two long-standing associations (Anderson with King and Evans, respectively). Like the Fresh Sound album, which was recorded after only a few gigs, Never Stop II was cut as an act of faith in the future, in this case following a handful of rehearsals.

And like 2010’s Never Stop-the first Bad Plus album consisting entirely of original material-Never Stop II features all new compositions, the writing split between the three members and flaunting a more fluid exchange of leadership. There is a shift in character, too, with Evans’ brawny, bop-rooted force and deep-blues vernacular replacing Iverson’s classical grounding and pointillistic attack. Evans’ rolling spins through and around the melody are a buoyant counterweight to the dark, dance-y urgency of Anderson’s ‘Trace.’ King begins soloing less than a minute into Evans’ jubilant, disjointed ‘Commitment,’ and when Evans takes control again in his piano break, King and Anderson lock into a chase sequence underneath that speaks to their sturdy, fundamental kinship.

We have a whole new set of vistas to look forward to.

Read the whole piece here