The Bad Plus take on riotous ‘Rite of Spring’

Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on Bass, and Dave King on drums.
Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on Bass, and Dave King on drums.

The Bad Plus are a piano-bass-drums trio on the outer edges of jazz. They made hay with a very respectable cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” off their first album, “These are the Vistas.”

NPR Music is streaming the new Bad Plus joint, and it’s far out there. It’s a reworking of Stravinsky’s riotous “Rite of Spring.” Hit this link to hear what they’ve been up to.

You may remember like it was yesterday that “Rite of Spring” had a pretty stormy premiere back in 1913. Keyed-up and combative audience-members were unceremoniously ejected when they tried to stir things up. Needless to say, it is perfectly fertile territory for The Bad Plus to mine.

NYT panned Vaslav Nijinsky's dancing in the
NYT panned Vaslav Nijinsky’s dancing in the “Rite of Spring” premiere. Ouch.

Nielsen SoundScan reported that classical sales were up nearly five percent last year. Why was that? Classical crossover sales. The National, Rufus Wainright, Jonny Greenwood and others have been jocking that classical lifestyle like it’s going out of style. (Um.)

The Bad Plus are continuing the crossover tradition with “Rite of Spring.” May it lead to album sales, worldwide tours, and wild monetary success.

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