Music » Critics' Picks

The Bad Plus

8:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Wednesday, January 6, through Saturday, January 9, at Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Boulevard.

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The Bad Plus has attracted plenty of attention for its jazz arrangements of songs originally identified with pop, rock and classical musicians. Yet what truly distinguishes its explorations of this disparate and seemingly unlikely material — which ranges from the Bee Gees and Nirvana to Igor Stravinsky — is the way the three members work together. Drummer Dave King exemplifies extroversion; he's a power player who can verge on the bombastic without ever quite going over the top. Pianist Ethan Iverson is a scholarly yet sly synthesizer of the jazz-piano tradition, and bassist Reid Anderson serves as the balance point, holding it all together. While many younger jazz musicians have covered contemporary music in the last decade, few can rival the Bad Plus' signature group chemistry.

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