Album review, as written for the Jackson Hole Weekly.
Artist: The Bad Plus
Album: Made Possible
Release date: September 25, 2012 (N. America)
For their 9th studio album, self-labeled musical “avant-garde populists” The Bad Plus members Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson, and David King escaped their Minnesota homeland to record Made Possible inside a remote, upstate New York recording studio. What they produced within that project is a nine-track work (eight originals, one tribute) of genre-jumping musical mastery. Made Possible marks a distinctive shift in The Bad Plus’s lines, incorporating elements of synthesizer and electronic percussion elements into the trio’s traditionally acoustic jazz sound. That being said, “Made Possible” was created within the token of bent, blurry, and in essence, completely non-existent lines — from the driving piano vamp steering the heady, minimalist “Seven Minute Mind,” to the changing meters, unfolding harmony, and jazz blue-blood solos that build the aural labyrinth spirals of “Re-elect That.” “I Want To Feel Good, Pt. 2” is an irresistible two-beat swinger that the trio quotes as “equally suitable for a postmodernist time capsule or a church picnic,” a statement that sums the album character of Made Possible as a work of remarkable, heady and progressive musical talent that refuses the boundaries of high-brow elitism, taking instead to the to endless destinations available to the open, peoples’ streets traveler.