The Bad Plus, Not Even Close To Far Off, Edition ***

The Bad Plus is a completely different band stylistically nowadays even when two of its original members bassist Reid Anderson and drummmer Dave King are still on board. That's because TBP is no longer a piano trio. Is it better for that? No at …

Published: 16 Sep 2022. Updated: 2 months.

The Bad Plus is a completely different band stylistically nowadays even when two of its original members bassist Reid Anderson and drummmer Dave King are still on board. That's because TBP is no longer a piano trio.

Is it better for that? No at least on the slim evidence of this snarlingly punkish track along with the couple of other tracks from the upcoming album streaming so far. I'll be checking out the rest for the full picture come release time hoping for at least one track to cling on to. This is the best of what we know so far.

But getting that lamentation as to change in format out of the way what have we got more positively? On the Dave King tune 'Not Even Close To Far Off' certainly there is a tasty, emotive, sounding tenor saxophone solo from Chris Speed as one favourable element. Speed is a player we have long admired and yet who is someone who seems constrained here within the rumbling bass and tough drums architecture of the rock style piece and its relatively simple tune.

The most interesting bit is actually the electric guitar part from Ben Monder who arrives sounding far off and mysterious before the sax line repeats his melody. A slight feeling of anti-climax is overpowering by the end.

The full album entitled The Bad Plus is out at the end of September

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Podcast - on the bubbling under 1990s sound of 12 Stars from Melissa Aldana

BUBBLING UNDER FROM EARLIER IN THE YEAR. Deserves a fresh listen. Today in the podcast we are recalling an album from earlier in the year that ought not be forgotten about in the stampede of opinion that is the upcoming albums of the year list …

Published: 16 Sep 2022. Updated: 2 months.

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BUBBLING UNDER FROM EARLIER IN THE YEAR.

Deserves a fresh listen. Today in the podcast we are recalling an album from earlier in the year that ought not be forgotten about in the stampede of opinion that is the upcoming albums of the year list season. Relistening reveals once again what a strong album Melissa Aldana's 12 Stars is. And don't forget thoughts change as listening deepens.

Released back in February New York-based Chile-born saxophonist Aldana is found on this absorbing Lage Lund-produced tarot card-inspired album with a band on the recording who comprise guitarist Lund, keyboardist Sullivan Fortner, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Kush Abadey.

With a 1990s feel in places and Aldana chimes nicely with the sound of Johsua Redman from that period. 12 Stars features Aldana originals, some co-written with Lage.

A very mature sound with some serious playing and interesting detours within the band sound Aldana has that rare gift of being able to communicate as intimately as a vocalist can and on a ballad such as 'Emilia' makes her sound count so very convincingly.

Melissa Aldana is also a guest on Will Vinson's Tripwire released today. Click for details

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Melissa Aldana, Photo: press