Rolling Stone - 3/18/04, p.714 stars out of 5
- "[Iverson, Anderson, and King] build new, tightly scripted rapture from pieces of the original tunes and rhythms....By any standard, jazz or otherwise, it is moving, mighty music--bad in all the right ways."
Entertainment Weekly - 3/19/04, p.65
"[T]here are eight originals seething with funky new-millennium rhythms and succulent harmonic flights." - Grade: A-
CMJ - 3/08/04, p.17
"[T]hey remain true to their singular sound, which comes through formidably once again on GIVE."
The Bad Plus: Ethan Iverson (piano); Reid Anderson (bass); David King (drums).
Recorded at Real World Studios, Wiltshire, England in October 2003.
Falling somewhere between Medeski, Martin & Wood, Ben Folds Five, and the Oscar Peterson Trio, power jazz trio the Bad Plus deliver more idiosyncratic instrumentals on their sophomore effort, Give. Featuring bassist Reid Anderson, drummer David King, and pianist Ethan Iverson, the Bad Plus follow a similar creative path as on their debut, These Are the Vistas, by interspersing original compositions with covers of popular rock tunes. This time around the Pixies' "Velouria" is turned into a kind of Sergei Rachmaninov does funk jazz number while Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" sounds something like a Claude Debussy arrangement of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Otherwise, the trio evinces free jazz with Ornette Coleman's "Street Woman," and does a bombastic impersonation of Vince Guaraldi on the original "Layin' a Strip for the Higher-Self State Line." While obviously talented and often inspired, it is unclear if the Bad Plus are avant-garde enough to appeal to hardcore jazz fans, or pop-oriented enough to grab the attention of rock listeners. However, fans of quirky, experimental music may find this worth a listen. ~ Matt Collar