Similar to Oklahoma’s own Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, The Bad Plus is updating the traditional jazz piano trio in a more modern, avant-garde style. The result, as with the aforementioned group, can be a little out there at times, but in this reviewer’s opinion, “Prog” is down-to-earth compared with some of the outfit’s previous work.
Occasionally, the tunes crafted by bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer David King settle into a repetitious drone that either could hypnotize or annoy. Other times, the group shows a knack for improvisation and imagination often lacking in jazz today.
And like JFJO’s last album, “Prog” includes some covers that one might not expect from a jazz trio, including David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” all delightfully played.
All totaled, this is a pretty solid album with some particularly good moments. Worth a listen.