The Bad Plus


Big sound, clever
sound
Ka-boom...


They're sooo baaad
they're good


They could jazz
anyone any-
where


What vistas!
What Mista's!


And 'covers'
better than
most firsts


& that's gotta be
a plus






Jan Garbarek

'Europe's most famous jazz musician'
   -The Guardian


There's a reason some things
are immensely popular


Always the whole sound
(ECM's first release
hallmark crisp, clear,
spacious


But also transcendent
(jazz meets New Age
in & out of
the World


Nordic
icy
glacial


Yet intense
(pure, lyrical, so
much pathos


Early days--
Stenson, & Jarrett's
Belonging Quartet


To gorgeous, plaintive
Gregorian pop charts
(to Dresden...


Tenor & soprano
probably our favourite
saxophonist
(keening
& amazed






John McLaughlin


Okay, he's Big & we
get it, got it
all along
--& from the
beginning


Super heavy metal,
acoustic & back
& forth
east & west &
often sublime


Our favourite Miles
alum guitarist
--skronks, squawks,
chafed fretboard


Used to love him, but
(but...) finally
just another
New Agey?
over the hilly?
--'spiritual, not
religious'
(well who isn't for
fuck sakes)


Respect, yes huge
(of course)
but getting chafed
ourselves


Go back to early early
British R & B
(help, we're
conflicted)
--intuitively
accomplished,
self-taught in
Yorkshire


No friggin' wonder
Dave Holland
recommended him
New York '69


& the rest
as they say...
went for miles,
& a half at least






Trevor Watts


Marvellous.  Frickin'
amazing.  Joyful.
Mesmerizing & full
to the last drop.


High energy swirling surround
reaching plaintive melodic sax
rhythm-driven, lotsa Ghanaian
percussion (de-licious).


Where d'you find some moiré?
We've been looking for years.






Frank Zappa


The biography dis-
figures the man


Horrid misogynist, &c.


But his orchestration riffs...


We saw him in acid youth
on stage


Bad trip
Terrified of flying from balcony
into the sound-box
of his fast fret
guitar


    © Stephen Betts 2011