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The Bad Plus - The Rite Of Spring / Audiophile Audition review

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You won't find rock music translations or re-interpreted classical music on the Bad Plus' latest, the 50-minute Inevitable Western, their tenth studio recording. Instead, Anderson, Iverson and King focus on their own compositions: each member penned three tunes, for a total of nine tracks. The emphasis is melodic development, lyricism, and group interplay and improvisation. Anderson's opener, "I Hear You," has an unassuming melody maintained by Iverson's piano. But the trio gives the theme an unpredictable gradient, particularly noticed via Anderson's angular bass, and King's quietly but insistently adjusting percussive accents. These features provide a varied sense of drama and witty demeanor. Musically speaking, Anderson's second piece, the noisome "You Will Lose All Fear," has a fascinating, warped responsiveness, with an interior dynamism which is equally inclined toward free improvisation and arranged jazz, as well as by hints of 20th-century modernist classical music. There are forceful, dissonant chords and perkyarpeggios, while King offers restless drum fills and percussion rolls. The cut's first half is roiling, the final half more peaceful. Anderson's muse also thrives on expressive "Do It Again," which has some alt-rock music mannerisms and inventive changes.  READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition ARTICLE