The Bad Plus: Made Possible
It’s so refreshing to hear the kind of originality and musicianship featured on The Bad Plus’s eighth studio album, Made Possible, as fans of the Midwestern jazz threesome (comprised of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King) know the trio can be relied upon to constantly push the musical envelope, which makes the songs consistently intriguing.
The album begins on a solemn, but exquisitely beautiful note with “Pound for Pound,” which finds a gorgeous, slow-moving, melody building into one of the band’s signature crescendos and finds its way back, serving as a perfect introduction to the band’s sound. What’s interesting on this album though is not the trio’s norms, but their derivations such as incorporating electronic elements into their sound with a synthesizer toward the end of “Re-Elect That” (which sounds a bit like the triumphant climax on a low budget, early-80’s film), the digital drums in the middle of “Sing For A Silver Dollar,” and the more effective electronic sounds intermixed in “I Want To Feel Good, Pt. 2.” While the experiments aren’t always successful, they feel ripe with potential.
The nine songs manage to have a distinctive live feel, which forgives off moments in the bigger picture of the musical voyage. As the momentous whirlwinds of syncopation and complexity give way to dramatic silences and melodic stanzas, the journey is overwhelmingly worthwhile.