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The Bad Plus bend the rules at Scala / theguardian review

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Minnesota-born trio the Bad Plus bent the rules in their own ways at a festival gig at the Scala on Sunday, though with no lightshow and a lot less hoopla. The more spartan feel was established at the outset by the sparky British sax/drums duo of Binker and Moses, before the Bad Plus split their set between originals and material from new all-covers album It's Hard. A noughties classic, pianist Ethan Iverson's moving and hypnotic Everywhere You Turn was a standout, and Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time was turned by canny dissonances and unceremonious accelerations from the wistful original into a fascinatingly gawky sibling that Thelonious Monk might have played. Barry Manilow's Mandy, a typically cheesy choice from these canny ironists, put Iverson in waywardly trilling classical mood, while bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King ducked and dived through busy countermelodies, offbeat slams and scolding percussive harangues.

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