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Suspicious Activity

Artist: Bad Plus

Date of Release: 01/04/2005

Catalogue no: 718

Label: Sony/BMG

Price: £13.99

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Prehensile Dream

2

 

Anthem for the Earnest

3

 

Let Our Garden Grow

4

 

The Empire Strikes Backwards

5

 

Knows the Difference

6

 

Lost of Love

7

 

Rhinoceros Is My Profession

8

 

O.G.: Original Gentleman

9

 

(Theme from) Chariots of Fire

10

 

Forces

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Ethan Iverson

Produced by Tchad Blake and The Bad Plus
Recorded at RealWorld Studios, spring 2005

 

Reviews

 

20/09/2005 The Onion (focus on Sept. 20 Vanguard run)

"A Midwestern jazz band with designs of its own...stays close to straightforward jazz in spirit, but the basslines play more like pop songs and the drums rumble in line with rock."

 

01/04/2005  The New York Times

"The Bad Plus's fourth studio record proves that the band is better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-60's jazz and indie rock....The Bad Plus likes to work with giant melodies, and in its choice of a cover version, there is no half-stepping: the band's take on Vangelis's "Chariots of Fire" theme starts with a groove and then makes a free-jazz monument of it. It has to be a joke, right? But listen to this slow-motion bomb in a dentist's waiting room a few more times, and your hearing might begin to change."

 

01/04/2005 Rolling Stone

"[FOUR STARS] Power-piano trio and cover-version imps the Bad Plus derserve to be better known for the romantic detail and addictive gallop of their originals."

 

01/04/2005 The L Magazine

"'Suspicious Activity?' is a surprisingly reflective affair for the Bad Plus, but the quiet, bittersweet strain that ties the album together serves to make the group’s signature sweeping crescendos all the more cathartic. The new originals are improbably catchy and emotive for their complexity, and the trio’s spontaneous interplay now borders on what Miles Davis used to call E.S.P. The one pop cover present is a weirdly heartbreaking interpretation of the theme from Chariots of Fire that manages to reflect all that is cross-eyed and beautiful about the Bad Plus. "

 

01/04/2005 Billboard

"Audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio crunches and at times pulverizes swing to let improvisational freedom shine...Dynamics play a huge roll in the act's music, as does humor, an element sorely lacking in most of contemporary jazz. But beauty is also key... jazz purists tremble while the vanguard flocks."

 

01/04/2005 The Village Voice

"Make no mistake, the Bad Plus play top-notch jazz."

 

01/04/2005 LeoBeat

"Tchad Blake is back to produce this album, and he once again lends his trademark aural assault of confusion, experimentation and dissonance, which works well for The Bad Plus. It helps add a bit of spice to a traditional acoustic jazz trio, and gives them the pliability to fit into a small jazz venue or Bonnaroo. These three musicians show an amazing breadth of talent and virtuosity, which has helped them peek their heads into the door of the mainstream."

 

01/04/2005 DownBeat

"The group infuses power, passion and postmodern humor into its configuration of the jazz piano trio context."

 

01/04/2005 All About Jazz

"One thing is for certain: The Bad Plus has created one of the most original and unmistakable sounds in contemporary music."

 

01/04/2005 The Boston Phoenix

"...technical derring-do and fiendishly difficult arrangements...the general pop gleam in the tunes might also make you throw up your hands and clap yeah."

 

01/04/2005 Blogcritics.org

"Every member of this trio is beyond a virtuoso on their given instrument, but what puts it into the stratosphere is how well they work off of each other... a band reaching for artistic individuality and nothing is getting in their way."

 

01/04/2005 CMJ MONTHLY

"Bigger and more audacious...somewhere between refreshing and downright awe-inspiring."

 

01/04/2005 Relix

"The Bad Plus' chemistry is a rich one these three can explore for years."

 

01/04/2005 JazzTimes

"SImply the sound of a band acknowledging its proper place in time."

 

01/04/2005 Jazziz

"They're entertaining on first listen and still surprising on fifth. That's talent."

 

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