New Standards: The Bad Plus

With Minneapolis's Dave King on Drums, an Irreverent Trio Turns ABBA and Aphex Twin Into All That Jazz

There are many in the Twin Cities and elsewhere who consider King to be a rhythmic genius. While I'll grant that his all-out style is unique and often compelling, he's too prone to garrulous displays. On Tuesday, more so than on record, he also played at a volume that was either very loud or very soft, when more mid-range dynamics would have sometimes been preferable. That said, his rhythmic effusions are absolutely crucial to the Bad Plus's template, and the group couldn't make the impact that it has without him. Their performance adds up to three complementary talents in the right place at the right time. How long can the group extend that serendipity? The answer is worth listening for.

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