Intro Jazz, “Liner Note Assignment” essay

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“Never Stop” was released September 14, 2010 by Entertainment One. The album is the first one that presents a collection of absolutely original works by the band that was first recognized for their covers on Nirvana, Aphex Twin, Blondie, Pink Floyd, Pixies and other famous bands.

The Bad Plus trio distinguishes for their unique approach to jazz music. Their

style is absolutely original and goes far beyond the frames of jazz and combines many trends of experimental music such as lounge, jazz-rock, pop and instrumental sound. This is no way mainstream music with obvious avant-garde trends. Long and short of it is that this music does not leave anyone indifferent, from the most sophisticated jazz-lovers to the fans of nonstandard music.

The musicians first met in 1989 but the Bad Plus was formed only in 2000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when after playing only three gigs together musicians decided to record their first album. That was the beginning of the new, experimental, free-jazz music band.

The eighth album “Never Stop” is one more proof from the bass-drum-piano trio that all existent musical conventions and rules could and should be broken.  The group is not tied to one particular way of jazz performing. They continue innovating and this album is another result of fruitful work. 

Unlike the previous album “For All I Care”, where musicians worked with a vocalist - Wendy Lewis, and which contained cover versions on Nirvana, Pink Floyd and others, “Never Stop” is purely instrumental and vocal-free.  And it’s all original.  The album brings into the focus congruence and originality of the band that has invented their own style presented in this album.

The album is distinguished by the energetic sound, with the accent on the drums and dramatic, multi-faceted piano sets in combination with supple bass.  “Never Stop” has experienced more pop and even disco influences.  Nevertheless the album turned out to be diverse enough, incorporating different types of sound, even in a single track.

“Beryl Loves to Dance” and “The Radio Tower” involve avant-garde and improvisation features with funky groove elements. “People Like You” and “Snowball” – two romantic gentle piano ballads. “2 pm” is a jazz improvisation where, however, the classical impact is felt, the as well as in “The Radio Tower Has a Beating Heart”.  “Bill Hickman at Home” – challenging out of tune piano and bass set. “Never Stop” - outstanding composition with melodic anthem-like themes.  And it is not the complete list of the songs and their features.  The album includes ten tracks – for ten fruitful years of work of the band.

Despite the diversity of sound the album proved to be harmonious and melodic.  It is the new sound of  jazz music for connoisseurs of original and independent style. 

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