Next up on the jazz shelf is The Bad Plus. I have these stand alones: Motel, These Are The Vistas, Give, Suspicious Behaviour, prog, and for a time: For All I Care. Motel – which I named after a motel sign on the cover – is an ep some of which shows up on Vistas.
A propulsive trio: piano, bass, drums, they eagerly tackle covers of songs by Abba, Rogers & Hart, Blondie, Nirvana, and other. Plus originals with typical nerdy jazz titles: Thriftstore Jewelry, And Here We Test Our Powers of Observation.
No drawers to drop
The covers deconstruct originals, sometimes into a barely recognizable melody. Spare and often pell mell the music is always probing, sometimes challenging to listen to and always full of surprises. At times atonal, then lushly melodious. Brutal, then tender.
The sound is consistent from cd to cd – perhaps too consistent – after a couple I was hoping for tonal change or a new approach to their ‘attack’. With ‘For All I Care’ they work with a vocalist – mainly covers – but after a few listens I was bored – slowed down takes on songs such as Heart of Glass, Comfortably Numb didn’t hold my attention enough to make me want to come back to it.
They are jazz darlings though, and any of their cds would be a good start if you want a power house, piano driven, jazz trio that doesn’t play cocktail music.
January 3 – attending – HOT DAMN! It’s a Queer Slam featuring Johnny Trinh
January 18 – hosting – Out of the Fire – a fundraiser for Kyle Andrews
Zap, the Happy Microwave, announced to the other appliances, “Today will be a good day.”
“Oh yeah?” Piper, the coffee percolator steamed. “What makes you think that?”
“There will be a multitude of people by to enjoy our special talents.”
“Makes me boiling mad.”
“But that is your unique gift Piper, my friend. Look they’ve bought that Magic of Christmas blend from Starbucks.”
“Yeah. Extra coarse grind though, when they should know by now that regular grind lets me give them the better cup. Less bitter.”
“Oh you boys,” the coffee Muggins quadruplets giggled. “Stop fighting now.”
“We are not fighting,” Zap blinked, “I am just sharing how much I look foreword to tonight. All those people dropping by on Christmas Eve for a hot cider or …”
“Cookies. Don’t forget the cookies,” Scotty, one of the shortbread men strode over.
“Yeah, right,” Piper gurgled. “After tonight we won’t have to put up with you.”
“What do you mean?” Scotty’s bravado began to crumble.
“They’ll eat you up. All of you. At least Zap and I’ll still be here in the morning.”
“Now, now, Piper that wasn’t nice.”
“Look Zap we all can’t be as happy you so get used to it. I just hope you are cleaned properly.”
“Of course I am.”
“So are we,” The Muggins chimed in.
“Yooo hoo. Yooo hoo.”
“Who the heck is that.” Piper swore.
Zap popped his door open to look around the corner.
“It’s the Christmas lights.”
“Yeah. Well I’m tired of hearing about how nice it is to be in the living-room all the time. Keep it down in there.” Piper growled back. “We got enough cheer in here with Zap-a Clause.”
“When do we start,” Frosty the fridge shook himself awake. “I can’t wait to get rid of some of this extra weight.”
“Just hold your freon.”
“My freezer aches with all the ice-cubes in there. If they like their hot drinks what’s the use of giving me a pounding ice ache with all those cubes. That’s what I want to know. That’s what I want to know.” He came to a sudden stop.
“Ding dong. People here. Ding dong. People here.” Chimerella the plucky door bell sang.
“Oh boy. Let the Christmas party begin.”
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