Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Bad Plus - London Jazz Festival 11/11/05

The Bad Plus' set from the London Jazz Festival was a short, crowd pleasing one. This concert hit many of the highpoints of their current music, starting with the mid tempo composition 'Let Your Garden Grow' by pianist Ethan Iverson that presents an impressionistic and classically trained feel. Drummer Dave King's throbbing anti war epic 'The Empire Strikes Backward' always receives a warm welcome overseas in the current climate, and is particularly memorable here. Led by King's raucous drumming, 'Empire' is an impressive performance.

Things calm back down with the mid tempo interesting feel of bassist Reid Anderson's 'Rhinoceros is My Profession.' Finally, the requisite quirky cover is the theme from 'Chariots of Fire' which starts with a very abstract view of the song and gradually moves back, building tension until finally reaching a climax with the very memorable melody. This is the perfect song for the group to cover as they have always had a flair for the dramatic and cinematic in their music. One wonders why they haven't been called upon to score a film. Maybe that lies ahead in 2006.

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