The Bad Plus Talk Covers Ahead Of Village Vanguard Run
The Bad Plus Talk Covers Ahead Of Village Vanguard Run – Tonight (12/27/16) through Sunday (1-1-17)
The first track on the self-titled debut album by The Bad Plus from 2001 was Abba’s Knowing Me Knowing You. Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, and David King also included a dynamite version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit on that album. The two tracks made it clear this trio out of Minneapolis wouldn’t be limited by genre or era in their choice of material. In the ten rewarding albums that followed over the next fifteen years; songs by David Bowie, Wilco, Rush, The Bee Geels, Blondie, and Pink Floyd were all recorded by the leaderless group. Rock and pop covers were not their only focus of course. Some outings concentrated solely on original material while one tackled Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
In April of this year – following four albums of songs penned predominantly by Iverson, Anderson, and King – the Bad Plus gathered in Brooklyn (where two thirds of the group live) and recorded the twelve new covers found on the It’s Hard album. Among the songs laid down was their take on The Beautiful Ones by Prince who sadly would be dead a week after the sessions ended. Remarks about Prince are included in the bonus video below made up of material from my interview conducted prior to a Blue Note show in August.
In addition to carrying on their custom of wildly creative interpretations of rock and pop songs, The Bad Plus have established a tradition by ringing in the last seven years with New Year’s Eve gigs at the Village Vanguard. This Saturday night will mark year number eight at the cozy and historic nook. They begin a residency tonight, Tuesday the 27th and will be doing two sets a night through Sunday, New Year’s Day.