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The Bad Plus: Saying It Proud, But Way Too Loud

When the soothsayers and tastemakers at Esquire magazine posited in their March 2003 issue that the Bad Plus’ These Are the Vistas just might be the one album that could single-handedly make jazz relevant again, they failed to include this caveat: relevant for white rock scribes and other assorted geeks who couldn’t swing from a rope.

This renegade piano trio has already been the object of gross hyperbole in JazzTimes (Stuart Nicholson raves in the April 2003 issue that These Are the Vistas “is one of the most important jazz albums to appear in more than a decade”). Other writers for Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and Rolling Stone have been equally effusive in their praise of the self-proclaimed “power piano trio.”

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