The Bad Plus: Made Possible

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: The Bad Plus
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Made Possible
WORKS: Made Possible
PERFORMER: Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano), David king (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 3711946

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The stated ethos behind the Minneapolis-based power trio’s eighth studio album is that the band still has more than enough punk energy but it doesn’t need to make it so obvious anymore. To put it another way, The Bad Plus is maturing and no longer has to scare the pants off people to get noticed.

These nine songs (of which eight are originals) still have the ‘avant-garde populism’ that put the band on the map – but the rocky, propulsive attack of the old Plus is now somewhat tempered by a more reflective aesthetic. They’ve (it is a democratic trio) also put renewed emphasis on hypnotic minimalism around repeated themes in their tunes – as opposed to the more jagged, irony clad jazz rock of earlier albums. A further sign of the trio’s future direction lies in the choice of their only cover in the programme – the late Paul Motian’s tender, elegiac ‘Victoria’ – a jazz piece.

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Garry Booth