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The Bad Plus - It's Hard / Jazz Weekly review

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The trio of Reid Anderson/b, Ethan Iverson/p and David King/dr continues to play with their winning hand here, by bringing their sound to music that inspired them in their nascent days. They produce unique and clever (dare I say tongue in cheek?) arrangements of songs that you'd never thought would be together on the same album.

I mean, where else can Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" with a Grand Ol' Opry bass line feel at home with King's deft brushes on Ornette Coleman's "Broken Shadow"? They take the pop hit "Mandy" pretty straight while going kinetic on the staccato "Maps" and incessant "games Without Frontiers." Some rich spaces by Iverson teams with the dancing cymbals on "Don't Dream It's Over" and the team snaps on the New Wavey read of  Prince's "The Beautiful Ones." If nothing else (and these is something else), The Bad  Plus take the word "jazz" and make it a verb again.

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