The Bad Plus return to perform Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring'

The music of Stravinsky has been appropriated and reconfigured for ages now. From Charlie Parker to Ornette Coleman and Frank Zappa, pieces have been pulled, re-arranged and served as the catalyst for new ideas in both classical and jazz worlds.

It was only a matter of time, then, that the trio Bad Plus, known primarily for their jazz-informed takes on rock and popular music standards and obscurities that have included everyone from Aphex Twin to Abba, would ultimately take a crack at the Russian masterpiece and ode to spring ritual and paganism.

Discussing the Bad Plus's approach to their popular song homages, drummer Dave King told NPR, "We've had major discussions about, where is the Bad Plus in this thing? We've never approached any of our reworkings with irony. Sometimes people have maybe thought that about us, but we're actually quite earnest about everything we're trying to take apart."

Originally commissioned by Duke University to take a stab at Stravinsky last year, the group is bringing the fruits of their labor, their most ambitious project yet, to Minneapolis this weekend for two nights at the cozy and intimate Loring Theater. Just in time for the glorious weather that has been surrounding us this past week, the presentation of this classic piece should fulfill the spring spirit in a way other things like baseball have fallen short in these days.

Dave King describing the Bad Plus approach to 'Rite of Spring' at Duke University

Originally composed almost 100 years ago, Stravinsky faced tremendous controversy for nearly inciting a riot at the premier of the ballet due to the intense rhythms the piece utilizes. Though Minnesota audiences can be a bit demure themselves, we've grown used to the Bad Plus and their often subtle and restrained approach. Still, Bad Plus faithfuls know the three gentleman will execute the seemingly impossible task of acclimating the many movements and passages in Rite of Spring in their own style with passion, expertise and their typical sense of humor.

As the group will soon be bringing their act to Brazil for the rest of spring, this feels like a rare occasion that is not to be missed.

The Bad Plus perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring Friday May 20 and Saturday May 21 at the Loring Theater. 7pm. $25 for advance tickets, $30 at door.

The Bad Plus tackle Stavinsky's 'Spring' on Weekend Edition

The Bad Plus does Stravinsky's Apollo

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