Right, it’s Thursday, which means it’s time for your regular dose of pop/rock masquerading as jazz, or possibly the other way around. This week, ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Bad Plus, doing, um, Nirvana.
TBP have carved something of a niche in the surely-they-wouldn’t-do-that category, when it comes to jazz covers of pop tunes. There has been some debate as to whether these covers (Everybody Wants to Rule the World, anyone?) were just attention-grabbing novelty stunts, but the general consensus (with which I humbly concur) is that their versions of these tunes have something to say, musically, and are not merely gimmicks. But hey, you decide.
The band were in Columbia earlier this year, touring with Wendy Lewis to promote their excellent album, For All I Care (which has another excellent Nirvana track on it, Lithium). It was a great gig, full of wit and acerbic playing, doing everything from the Bee Gees and Pink Floyd to Stravinsky. (By the way, Ethan Iverson, the pianist, has one of the most interesting blogs around, which I recommend you check out.) This track is from an earlier album, Motel. You may recognize it. Surely they wouldn’t do that?