The Bad Plus

I Aggregate Myself

The writing continues, even as a bought of viral misery kept me preserving my strength for things other than this blog. But I’ll be back in fighting trim soon. In the meantime, I wrote my 100th column for ClassicalTV, something that came directly out of my waking fever dreams, and the May issue of The(…)

Jazz: Semi-Top 10 For 2011

… I’m excited over what has been a bounty of new jazz, new playing, new thinking, not only through this year but over the past few years. Aesthetically, the music is as strong and vital as its ever been, and the music is also exploring its own history in ways that are exciting, because there’s much more to jazz than Bird, Ellington and ’60s era Blue Note. Lists aren’t the best way to handle this, but they are not terrible and the practical consideration, at least for me, is that they help me craft some, hopeful, coherence out of my usual confusion and fatigue. And so, in no particular order (except what iTunes considers alphabetical) are the 10 best 2011 jazz releases for the first half of 2011:

Cash For Stash

In addition to my previous post, there’s a good handful of new CDs coming out next Tuesday: A Sun Ra box set The recording of Rhys Chatham’s Crimson Grail, from last year’s Damrosch Park performance (a little pricey considering) A new CD from Theo Bleckmann (more about it here) The latest from The Bad Plus(…)

SPF Factor Zero

I’m enjoying the accumulating comments and blog dialogue at A Blog Supreme, to which I’ve already contributed.  It’s especially interesting to see which records show up on multiple lists, and there are some consistent choices so far; The Bad Plus (a variety of records), Vijay Iyer’s “in what language?” and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.(…)

"You Know I'm Bad!"

So sang Michael Jackson, 20 years ago. And damn right he was “bad!” Now, lately, sadly, he’s just bad. For all the badness you need, the new resource is The Bad Plus. They come at you with a big, bad bang on their major label debut, These Are The Vistas. A classic jazz piano trio(…)