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The Bad Plus : Prog

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Give piano trio the Bad Plus credit for annoying the staid jazz purists by recognizing that other genres aren’t necessarily subpar by comparison. Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King have made annoyance into an art that’s now expected of them, especially when they cover pop tunes. On Prog, the trio’s first release on its own Do the Math imprint, there are more of those than usual.

From predecessors like Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” to Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” the Bad Plus has consistently picked hugely successful, overplayed hits and turned them inside-out. Prog leads off with Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and all three musicians contribute to stripping the overproduced pop smash’s melody to its bare essence.

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