A trio who make jazz purists puke and rock heads do double takes, the Bad Plus get a lot of attention for their selection of covers. Instead of Coltrane, Evans or Baker, you get Lee, Peart and Lifeson - just a taste of the notable high-radio-dial staples the Bad Plus take on here.
In addition to Rush's Tom Sawyer, the album includes a delicate and moody take on Everybody Wants To Rule The World and a salute to Bowie's Life On Mars. The Bad Plus go so far as to hire rock royalty Tony Platt (Iron Maiden, AC/DC), who must've scratched his head in the studio over a band that wanted less volume.
The covers are only a frame surrounding some impressive originals, mostly by bassist Reid Anderson, who guides David King's drums and Ethan Iverson's ivories through thoughtfully composed, epic pieces. Jazz records aren't often this fun.
The Bad Plus rock out the jazz at Harbourfront Friday (August 10).