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The Rite of Spring

Price: £11.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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For the past ten years The Bad Plus Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and David King have broken down the walls of jazz convention and created an uncompromising body of work. Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have inspired such controversy. Their belief in the band ethos and their personal brand of avant-garde populism have put them at the forefront of a new ... Read more in Amazon's The Bad Plus Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Mar. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • ASIN: B00I89Y1XW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

The Bad Plus has returned to Sony and signed a multi-album deal with Sony Music Masterworks. With a reputation for deconstructing popular songs and the avantgarde, it seems natural for the bad boys of jazz, The Bad Plus, to record their version of Stravinsky's controversial masterpiece THE RITE OF SPRING. This new recording captures The Bad Plus' unique version of the piece that they debuted on tour in 2011 in a multi-media program entitled ON SACRED GROUND: STRAVINSKY'S RITE OF SPRING.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As you'd expect from the Bad Plus, this is a fascinating and thoughtful interpretation of Stravinsky's work. The musicianship is exceptional and it holds the attention throughout. It's also a bit more approachable than some of their other work so a good first listen. It's grown on me the more I've listened to it.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Totterdell on 22 April 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Have to say why but boy am I glad they did would love to see this choreography with original costumes the Ballet Ruis would be at home with this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Respect 28 Mar. 2014
By danny poole - Published on
Verified Purchase
Not just respect for the band.
Not just respect for this performance.
Not just respect for Stravinsky or Rite.
Respect for the art of music...

This recording is spooky, jazzy, rocking, and off-kilter. I hope this album sets a fire of interest in music that pushes boundaries AND respects its fathers.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
100-years Old and Still Fresh 1 April 2014
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Igor Stravinsky was influenced by ragtime and very early jazz and in turn jazz artists decades later, such as Hubert Laws and Don Sebesky, made jazz arrangements of Stravinsky works, particularly of Rite of Spring, already a rather free jazzy classical ballet of wild rhythms and changes. Stravinsky scored his ballet not only for full orchestra but for four-handed piano (single or two pianos). The Bad Plus on this album probably used this two-piano arrangement as guide and added drums, acoustic bass, and for the introduction electronica for piano overlays and samplings. A heart beat and piano opens the album. The entire ballet is covered in 39 minutes. (For comparison, Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony has recorded it in 34 minutes.) Remarkably, the 1913 classical work adapts well as a jazz trio with swing underlying the dark musical and plot themes. The bass at times serves as the second piano with the drums covering the deeper bass line. The performance has no improvisation. The jazz rendition will not send shivers down the listener's back like the symphonic score with all its orchestral timbre and colors, but it demonstrates how fresh the Rite seems, though 100-years old. It is a dramatic work as a ballet and as a score, with crescendos and dissonance, whether performed in a symphonic hall or a jazz club. I have no doubt that Stravinsky would have approved of The Bad Plus version.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An album that might appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners 14 April 2014
By John J. Puccio - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Rite lends itself especially well to jazz interpretations. Russian-born American composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) wrote it for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, where the music immediately scandalized him and, in part, the country. To be fair, the ruckus it caused probably had as much to do with Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography as it did with the music. In any case, The Bad Plus's jazz rendering brings out many of the primitive strains in the piece as well as much of its hushed lyricism.

In the hands of The Bad Plus the music takes on a more surreal air than ever. Notes seem to shimmer and float eerily, especially during the opening "Introduction," and the percussion often gives one a hint of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. We're on slightly more-familiar ground with the second movement, "The Augurs of Spring," although here the piano work seems more fluid than an orchestra might sound. The electronic background effects lend a new and creative quality to the proceedings as well, making it all appear imaginatively different while still seeming quite familiar.

"Spring Rounds" exudes a kind of Bob James aura, if you're acquainted with his smooth jazz style, as well as a certain early Emerson, Lake and Palmer vibe. So, yes, you'll hear influences of other jazz, rock, and pop artists mixed into Stravinsky's score in The Bad Plus's performance. In other words, this is an album that might appeal to a broad spectrum of music listeners.

The fact that all three Bad Plus musicians know what they're doing and have a healthy respect for Stravinsky's material helps, too. Their arrangement doesn't cheapen the music but, if anything, helps further to illuminate it. Even the men's occasional inarticulate vocal expressions tend to heighten the musical experience. And did I mention it was downright fun?

Now, here is one thing, and it's not really a negative criticism: I didn't find the same degree of unrestrained savagery in the Second Part of the score ("The Sacrifice") that I have found in traditional orchestral interpretations from the likes of Bernstein, Solti, and Muti. Maybe there are just some things a full orchestra can do that three lone musicians can't; it's hard to discount the enormous force a big ensemble can produce. I dunno. Still, The Bad Plus offer their own unique contributions to the music, not the least of which is their effective creation of mood, mystery, and atmosphere. This is a Rite worth hearing.

The sonics are impressively dynamic, and for just three guys they sound like a much bigger group in a fairly enveloping acoustic field. The miking is somewhat close, so expect good detail, definition, transient response, and impact at the expense of some small lack of dimensionality and air.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
You have to hear this 22 May 2014
By GH - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great gift to the many jazz fans who are also classical enthusiasts. I had expected "jazz interpretations" of themes from The Rite of Spring, but that is not at all what this performance is: it is a complete performance of the Stravinsky music using piano, bass, drums, and some electronics. Can this music survive the loss of its extravagant instrumentation? What about the bass flute solo? Yes, the music survives, and the result is brilliant. The complex rhythms and harmonies are clear, and the performance is energetic and exciting. I'd love to hear more Stravinsky from this group, and maybe some Bartok or Kodaly.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant 30 April 2014
By F. Saracco - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful adaptation of Stravinksy's masterpiece. I have to admit the first 5 minute, Adoration of Earth, can be a little tough to get through, but once you do, my god. I got chills during Augers of Spring and had them through most of the album. I love how the drums are utilized. They give a the songs some tremendous sense emotion and tenseness. The complexity and depth they achieved with just a 3 piece band is nothing sort of astonishing.
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