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Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Bad Plus -- Suspicious Activity

Ahh... I giggled like a schoolgirl when I saw this disc in the old WFHB library. I first heard these guys several years ago when I had a regular show. I thought they had a great sound then, and I think they have a great sound now.
For those not familiar, The Bad Plus consists of three instruments, a drum, piano, and bass. The Bad Plus can say more with these three instruments than most bands can with four times the members!
For anyone already familiar with TBP, this is more good stuff worth tracking down. For those unfamiliar, TBP is a sweet little jazzy trio that walk a fine line between jazz and rock. Their pieces, while familiarly jazzy, often hit a crazy uptempo sweet spot. Sometimes they settle back down and behave, other times they flit all around the room, forcing you to keep up. While all the tracks were very good, two caught my attention for completely different reasons.

Lost of Love- I'd swear this track SPOKE the title, which is difficult when there are no lyrics involved. You'd just have to hear it to know what I mean.

(Theme From)Chariots of Fire - True to form, there is a cover included. This one has a bit looser interpretation than the rest, but once the intro is out of the way, you'll recognize some of the original tune in there.

As of this posting, the disc seems to be on sale online if you know where to look. Since I'm doing this for free, I'll point you nowhere. And I'll also give this sucker an easy A!

Aside from "The Empire Strikes Backwards", every song on here is fresh and frenetic. The track I mentioned is nice, but it's a sound I have heard from TBP many times before, so I take off a tenth of a point for that. The other track that stands out in a less positive way is Knows the Difference. It sort of wanders and never really goes anywhere. Instead, it sort of stumbles into a creek and drowns.

If you plan on getting this disc and importing the tunes, be ready. You CAN import them, but the disc includes a degree of copy protection that still allows you to burn a disc and load tunes into your system. In other words, you gotta do it their way.