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The Bad Plus - The Rite Of Spring / New York Times review

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They found it: the heartbeat. On their jazz-trio interpretation of "The Rite of Spring" (Sony Music Masterworks), the Bad Plus zeros in on the pulse that underlies the impact of Stravinsky's ballet score, now more than a century old but still primal. Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass and Dave King on drums clearly respect Stravinsky's melodic motifs and his harmonies, which they have examined minutely; they also know how to make them swing and crash. Stravinsky's ravishing orchestrations are finely translated, segment by segment, to the sounds that the trio (with a very few electronic enhancements) can make, and his proportions are preserved; there's no digressive jamming. At the same time, this is a jazz group, and the interactions - particularly of cymbals and snare drum with high piano notes, or of bass conspiring with tom-toms - mean a lot. Jazz-classical crossover is often a collision or a dilution. This is a true connection, one that makes the piece newly vivid. As with the original, every instant is tense.