Music » Critics' Picks

The Bad Plus

8:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, January 5 through Saturday, January 8. Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Boulevard.

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A decade-plus into its career, the Bad Plus is now actually one of the longer-lived working bands in jazz — a rather incongruous position for a group whose cheeky reinterpretations of rock and pop songs initially fueled its critical buzz. Fortunately, the band has evolved well beyond any easy shorthand descriptions, as demonstrated by its most recent CD, 2010's all-original Never Stop. Along with the expected flash from drummer Dave King and pianist Ethan Iverson, the Bad Plus' new material offers slightly odd yet catchy riffs and beats and deceptively simple melodies that are twisted just enough to avoid predictability. Most notably, bassist Reid Anderson's ballad "People Like You," the title track and "Super America" have both an economy of form and a cinematic sweep that are strictly sui generis.

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