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These Are The Vistas
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These Are The Vistas

10 Feb. 2003 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 7 Feb. 2003
  • Release Date: 10 Feb. 2003
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 56:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001I5KZ8S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,038 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you like your music unexpected, restless and difficult then this is the stuff for you - the drums are all over the place, the pianist has a very "individual" harmonic palette, and the material is interpreted and arranged with no respect for convention - the results are absolutely superb, and this album inspires me as much today as it did on first hearing it abround 2 years ago - this album, and indeed all the albums by this trio of American thirty-somethings are in my regular listening list. Reid Anderson (Bass) is a real groovy player, who operates by feel, and creates a powerful undercurrent - and he has one of the best sounds in Jazz! On piano, Ethan Iverson is quite simply unlike any other pianist I have heard - I would call him the modern Thelonius Monk, although that's not quite right - suffice to say his unique style is immensely satisfying and well worth a listen. David King (Drums)is another unique player, with a light, restless touch that fills the record with rhythmic interest - he does not appeal to everyone, but he certainly appeals to me!

Right now as I write this I'm listening to track 4, the wonderful "Everywhere you turn" - a powerful, piano led groove, that manages to be incredibly chilled despite it's big sound and busy drums - SUPERB!

Many of you may have noticed that the band cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on this album, and some of you may be appalled at the prospect - Nirvana fans will be spinning wildly in their metaphorical graves, and Jazz aficionados will be wondering where serious jazz musicians will find the meat in a grunge anthem? Well, as a massive Nirvana fan (I started playing guitar the year before Nevermind was released) who now plays jazz in a bebop quintet, I can safely say that it should please a good few from both camps!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a remarkable album showcasing a great new talent and a refreshing new take on the piano trio. From the opening assault of "Big Eater" through the brooding intensity of "Everywhere You Turn" to the reflective restraint of the "What Love Is", "These Are the Vistas" is an exciting and challenging experience. Simply having the nerve to take on the iconic "Smells like Teen Spirit" shows the measure of the Bad Plus' intent. Each track is distinct in approach, mood and feel. The playing is beautifully integrated despite Iverson, Anderson and King each posting highly individual and assertive performances; indeed simple "Trio" would be better nomenclature as the bass and drums play such forceful roles throughout. The style may be a little theatrical for some tastes, but this is certainly the antidote to the bland self indulgencies routinely offered by the Jazz world.
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Format: Audio CD
I finally got around to this LP, after hearing all the praise that's been heaped on this trio. I approached "The Beautiful Vistas" with a degree of cautious optimism. While I was certain the music would be better than what the naysayers would have you believe, I also wasn't sure if the Bad Plus could justify the hype on this record. Well, I'm happy to report that this fine album passes the test with flying colors. You could practically close your eyes while listening to this LP, pretend the year is 1967, and wouldn't guess that this record was recorded in 2002. That's how timeless and fresh the music really is. The trio of players --a bassist, a drummer, and piano player-- fuse traditional jazz with pop sensibilities without sounding overly trendy. I braced myself for their cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and yet I was surprised to see how faithful their version remains to the original while they inject their own identity and flavor. But the track that really made my ears stand up was their cover of "Flim." I've been familiar with the Apex Twin original for years, and I never guessed that these guys would turn this electronic piece into such a pretty jazz number. However, the Bad Plus aren't some cheap lounge act that does only covers. They stand tall on the merits on their own compositions, such as the elegant "Everywhere You Turn" and "Big Eater," whose piano by Ethan Iverson often sounds like the work of a post-Y2K Dave Brubeck. All in all, this is a smashingly good record. It's not terribly original, but the music is done with skill and passion. Sit back and enjoy the "vistas."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x939ccedc) out of 5 stars 76 reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x939d1af8) out of 5 stars I never do this . . . 7 Nov. 2003
By Jan P. Dennis - Published on
Format: Audio CD
. . . That is, write a second review of a disc I've already reviewed, but since I wrote my first review, a lot of problematic reviews have appeared.
For example, to say that this isn't jazz is just wrong. Ethan Iverson has been on the New York jazz scene for at least five or six years. During that time he and Reid Anderson have played and recorded with some of the most prominent names in jazz such as Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard, and Billy Hart (see their five records on the Fresh Sound New Talent label). A close listen to these albums will validate their jazz credentials beyond dispute. To characterize people of this standing in the jazz world as imposters is simply ludicrous.
David King is a little bit of a different case. He comes from the rock world, and has had a fusion trio, Happy Apple, for several years. Thus, his rhythmic concept and sense of time, let alone his basic approach to his kit, are anything but traditionally jazzy, giving the band a very different flavor than the traditional jazz trio (check out the vibe he creates, and his astounding playing, on "Boo-Wah," e.g.). To me, his imaginative, off-kilter drumming is one of the things that makes this record so special.
There is a certain melodic and harmonic simplicity to this record that could be characterized as unsophisticated, but that's not really true (I really don't know where the idea that it's rhythmically simplistic comes from). It's more of a case of on-purpose accessibility and a desire to connect with a wide (esp. younger) audience than unsophistication. OK, there's a fine line between helping people get into something outside their comfort zone and pandering, but these guys are firmly on the right side of that line. Yes, they can be bombastic, even crude, but that's not because they don't know what they're doing. Again, it's an artistic choice, and one they use very effectively, at least to these ears.
As far as them not being able to play the blues, didn't these people listen to "Guilty"? Moreover, a close listen to Ethan Iverson will confirm that he is a pianist with monster chops.
What's really going on here with the negativity toward this record, I think, is what the French call ressentiment: a deep jealousy, even hatred, toward what is considered unworthy, common, or even just widely accepted. Its perpetrators, the cognoscenti, disdain what they regard as a concession to popular taste. Its upshot is always a counterposition that affirms the "real" thing, culture that is not the province of "imposters."
The negativity is also fueled, certainly, by all the hype this disc has received. Instead of being thrilled that a jazz record has broken out of ghetto, the naysayers grump and grouse about all the money and promotion thrown at the group and record. What's that? We should all be glad the record companies have finally decided to support jazz and that the music is reaching new audiences. Not to do so is small minded.
Startling, brilliant group conversation, exciting improv, an unusual and dynamic soundscape, stellar recording technique, imaginative yet accessible compositions, sly, intelligent covers--that's what I heard in this thoroughly remarkable disc when I first heard it and still do after scores of listenings.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x939b3b1c) out of 5 stars Complex, accessible, fresh - one of the best CDs in years! 23 Sept. 2004
By Ron Cronovich - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The instrumentation of The Bad Plus is quite traditional: a trio with piano, acoustic bass, and drums. The music is anything but traditional. These cats push the boundaries and achieve something magical with their energy, enthusiasm, and talent.

This CD, the first major US release for The Bad Plus, contains mostly originals, plus a couple covers of rock tunes that are done very well. All arrangements are fresh & original, and each member of the trio is showcased on a few different tracks. Here are some of the highlights:

The CD opens with "Big Eater," an exciting piece with changing time signatures (7/8 to 3/4 to 4/4), lots of open fifths on the piano and bass, an amazing piano solo that starts out great and builds to an awesome climax. The pianist, Ethan Iverson, can - better than anyone else I can think of - play completely different things rhythmically with both hands, even over (what to other players would be) awkward time signatures. Actually, each member of The Bad Plus has a miraculous sense of time and the ability to anchor to any time signature. More importantly, they make these odd time signatures actually work for the listener, rather than being novelties meant to "show off" their talent.

The second track, "Keep the Bugs Off Your Glass and the Bears Off Your Ass" reminds me a bit of Mingus, with the bass playing the laid-back melody at times (even acappella in some spots), a great acappella bass solo by Reid Anderson, and an absolutely brilliant and exciting piano solo that is one of the few relatively straight-ahead swinging jazz solos on the album.

"Boo-Wah" reminds me a bit of Ornette Coleman and Thelonius Monk. High energy, playing fast & loose with the tempo, and some brilliant playing by all three cats.

"Flim" is a showcase for the drummer David King. I'd describe the tune as almost a lullaby, with a funky drum track on top. Sounds weird, huh? But it works brilliantly. You will be playing this track over and over.

The Nirvana cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is maybe the last thing you'd expect a jazz piano trio to cover. But The Bad Plus does a wonderful arrangement of it, and will likely bring some young rock fans into the jazz fold with this one.

On all tracks, The Bad Plus deliver performances that have the energy and intensity usually heard only live. Somehow, they capture that energy in the studio and it burns through your speakers and into your gut. Hearing this CD really is an emotionally engaging experience.

More recently, The Bad Plus have released a newer CD entitled "Give." If you're more into the jazz-rock sound, you may like "Give" better. If you're more into straight-ahead jazz (but are not too conservative in your tastes), you may like "These Are The Vistas" better. I think both are amazing, though I prefer "These Are The Vistas" because it seems to have more jazz improvisation and more tunes that come close to resembling what I think of as jazz.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93dd703c) out of 5 stars Does Not [Stink} 20 Feb. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am a very fluent jazz musician and listener, and to tell you the truth... most new jazz albums I have heard in the last year or so (beside reissues)... well, have [stunk].
Not this, though. I purchased The Bad Plus' new album "These Are the Vistas" just yesterday and can say that this is by far one of the greatest records I have ever heard.
The tunes that this piano-bass-drum trio play (and write) are just so fresh. If you're looking for a set of standards, do not buy this. Such tracks as "1972 Bronze Medalist" and "Big Eater" are just so new and revolutionary sounding. And the deconstruction they did of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"... just absolutely insane. I know that having such a tune on a jazz record seems cheesy, but its not. The song swings like nothing else.
The chemistry that this trio seems to have is outstanding too. The flowing groovy bass-lines of Reid Anderson, the stylistic and very sophisticated drumming of Dave King, and the harmonically rich and intelligent piano lines of pianist Ethan Iverson all add together to produce this wildly cinematic sound.
This, here, just proves how jazz is so alive.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9385c894) out of 5 stars These are the Vistas-The bad plus 3 Dec. 2005
By Charles Felix - Published on
Format: Audio CD
My friend lent me this cd because he said, "these are the people that will save jazz." I'm not sure if jazz necessarily needs to be saved, but the fact that he said it made me curious. So, I popped in the cd, listened once and liked it. Then I listened to it again, and I loved it. Now, I consider it to be my most favorite album. It grew and me and my love for it has not waned.

I was so impressed by the lasting effects of the music; there's so much emotion in it. For example, when I listen to "Silence is the question," I cannot do anything else, I stop whatever i'm doing. It's eight gold minutes long. Every so often I play it right before I go to sleep. The music is so vivid. Listening to it provokes so many images and emotions in me that I can only listen to it alone.

This is not your cocktail party jazz! It's clever art. The jazz rendition of "smells like teen spirit" clearly illuminates their wit and talent. I recommend this cd to those who like sophistication in their music, but also like a sort of spirited, youthful air mixed in too.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x939b73e4) out of 5 stars What a View!! 7 April 2003
By D. Hawkins - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD showed me just how powerful the internet could be when it comes to discovering new music. I read about The Bad Plus in the latest issue of Jazz Times, then the next day went to to check out reviews. Being generally positive...I downloaded "Silence is the Question" and their cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I was impressed by the Nirvana cover, but "Silence.." hit me like a sledgehammer upside the head!!! What a mind boggling track. Needless to say, I went out and bought the CD that afternoon...because I just couldn't wait. It reminds me of vintage Radiohead, though they are an acoustic trio, with moments of sheer cacophony followed by some of sublime beauty. Many reviewers have already raved about the same song, but you simply must hear it to believe it. This is what I love about the internet. Being able to hear a couple of full tracks allowed me to form an opinion on a new artist and then put money in those artists' pockets. The whole CD is simply stellar, with the trio meshing like a well-oiled machine. Special kudos to drummer Dave King, whose adventurous rhythms place this trio above just about any other on the scene today. "Big Eater" would make Mingus smile, with its carefully controlled chaos, while their cover of Aphex Twin's "Flim" is gorgeous (and lets King add many fluid drum rolls to the original programmed drum track). Here's hoping that The Bad Plus become this year's Norah Jones, an act that builds from word of mouth into a phenomenon based on music, not piercings and tattoos!! Do your duty and spread the word.
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