The Bad Plus With Wendy Lewis: Newport Jazz Festival 2009
The idea behind The Bad Plus has always engaged popular music masterworks as vessels for 21st century jazz improvisation. But that was only a limited part of the trio's oeuvre, with clever originals comprising the bulk of its material. With the addition of Minneapolis-based alt-rock singer Wendy Lewis, it becomes something slightly different: a straightfaced, singular and thoroughly postmodern improvising cover band.
To wit, the group's latest record For All I Care cherrypicks source material scattered about rock history: Nirvana, Pink Floyd, The Bee Gees, Wilco and so forth. That's juxtaposed between vignettes re-casting the work of 20th century classical composers, including Milton Babbitt, Gyorgy Ligeti and Igor Stravinsky. Behind Lewis' relatively faithful vocals, the musicians remain as creatively outre as ever. The foursome headlined Sunday's action at Newport's Harbor Stage.
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