The Bad Plus

The best quote about the Bad Plus, the locally rooted iconoclastic jazz trio, comes from way across the pond in the UK's The Guardian newspaper: "If the Coen Brothers put together a jazz trio, perhaps it would be like this, the comic and the dramatic rolled together." The deft linkage of two of the most brilliant, and definitely quirkiest of Minnesota-bred icons hits the nail on the head. Both are downright peculiar, have amazing chops, approach familiar things from acute angles and then twist them even more, and aren't queasy about spilling blood and guts. BP's latest opus For All I Care was a departure even for the ever-evolving Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and David King: inviting aboard local singer Wendy Lewis to stir vocals into the band's bubbling cauldron for the first time. While Lewis added another dimension, the core trio deconstructed a new crop of popular tunes (from Yes, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Roger Miller, Heart) and ran them through their trusty jazz-rock-classical chipper, but came up with stuff far tastier than the infamous scene in the Coens' Fargo. Hats with earflaps will be optional when the Plus return to the Dakota for what's become their annual Christmas week residency. Lewis isn't scheduled to be on hand, nor is Marge Gunderson. But who knows? $30-$40. (Photo by John Christenson)
Fridays-Sundays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 25. Continues through Dec. 27, 2009

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