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on 24 October 2008
I saw the Bad Plus at the North Sea Jazz festival, where they were previewing songs from this album. When they introduced Wendy Lewis three or four songs into their set there were people - presumably those who didn't want to hear a singer - leaving. All I can say is that they missed out. The music on this album was incredible in a live setting and everything that made it special then is still there in the recorded versions.

It would be difficult to pick out any tracks for individual praise if it weren't for the staggering quality of Comfortably Numb. In July they got a long (several minutes) standing ovation, and listening to it on the record practically makes me want to applaud my stereo all over again.

Generally I prefer instrumental to vocal jazz, but this is on a whole new level. The Bad Plus have made a reputation from re-interpreting well-known songs and it was only a matter of time before they tried adding vocals to the mix. It works.
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on 21 November 2008
From Stravinsky to Wilco via Ligeti, Heart, Nirvana and Pink Floyd this disc is wonderful - even down to the care and thought given to the editing, playing order and, even, pauses between tracks (to give you time for the next rush of emotion) this is wonderful stuff.

I've been a fan since I first saw them live in 2004 and have now heard them play four times but this is just stunning - a fourth dimension.

What next?
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The US jazz trio plus vocalist take on a whole host of covers, mainly from a rock background, and including songs by Yes, Pink Floyd, Wilco, Heart and even the Bee Gees.

And it works very well indeed. If you're used to the originals, these versions are something of a shock, but this difference makes them interesting and original.
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on 20 March 2009
The foray into the vocal dimension is a remarkable success. Wendy Lewis's relatively mainstream indie vocals complement the off beat instrumental style so familiar to Bad Plus regulars and moulds the songs into a melodic discipline that is more accessible than that of the trio alone. This will open The Bad Plus to a new audience. Not familiar with many of the originals, I find the covers to be surprisingly similar to many of the originals (Radio Cure, Barracuda). Although the first few listenings make firm favourites like Lithium challenging, familiarity breeds "content", as is so often the case. This album is best reviewed after many listenings but is genuinely a marvellous achievement.
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2011
If the words...jazz piano and female depressing vocalist cover Nirvana strikes terror into your heart, then be afraid.....VERY afraid.
I wonder what the thinking was behind awfully depressing covers of awfully depressing tracks such as comfortably numb and lithium was? At least comfortably numb by PF had a great Dave Gilmour solo in it.
Sorry, but the vocals ruin the fine balance that Bad Plus achieved on their instrumental records. Being able to clearly hear Kurt Cs lyrics does not make for a comfortable ride. I have all the Bad Plus cds, but this one went straight to resell/trash. Avoid.
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