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Never Stop

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 14, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

For the past ten years The Bad Plus Reid Anderson on bass, Ethan Iverson on piano and David King on drums have created an uncompromising body of work by shattering musical convention. Rolling Stone called their amalgam of jazz, pop, rock and avant garde about as badass as highbrow gets, while The New York Times said the band is better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post- 60s jazz and indie rock. Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have generated as much controversy while audaciously bucking musical trends.

Ten years together is a milestone we chose to mark with a set of originals, said Iverson. The new album, NEVER STOP, is a ten-track set, the group s first album of all-original material, strictly an instrumental affair and a collection whose live groove belies its studio origins. It s a rapid-fire succession of engaging performances showcasing the band's range as well as its three distinct personalities. From gentle and melodic to fierce and abstract, from swing to 80s techno, NEVER STOP does just what the title says: it keeps rolling and flowing, a kinetic playground of new sounds.

With a year-long anniversary tour planned for 2010-2011, The Bad Plus is ready to solidify its status as the go-to band for the ultimate in jazz and beyond. You re going to have to deal with us some time or another," says Iverson. "We re never going to stop.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: E1 Entertainment
  • ASIN: B003W5QIZ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lydia E. York on September 24, 2010
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The Bad Plus are best known for their fantastic covers. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are the best known examples. To date, every album has featured several covers of rock songs. To be sure, they had their own material which was fantastic, exciting, and fresh.

We always knew they didn't need to do covers, but they did it anyway, almost as an anchor for each album release. Their most recent prior album "For All I Care" featured vocals for the first time and included a whole bunch of covers. The group said they wanted to "shake things up."

Well, now that I'm shaken up, they do it again, only 19 months after their last release! "Never Stop" is all original material! Almost as a warm-up, a kind of stylistic overture, the album starts with "The Radio Tower Has A Beating Heart." It's prog jazz with no apologies. The title song "Never Stop" has me hoping they won't. It's probably the most accessible cut for new listeners. "You Are" is another fine example of how wide open the sound of this trio can be.

The more melodic numbers, "People Like You," "Snowball," and "Bill Hickman At Home" are more traditional in shape and sound. However, when the performer is The Bad Plus, more traditional is still very progressive.

The album ends with "Super America," a wonder tune that pays homage (in a very Bad Plus way) to Americana and the wide open plains.

I hope they never stop doing all original albums. Even if they don't stop doing covers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Williams on December 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD

For the first time ever the Bad Plus, who are known for their clever jazz arrangements of modern pop & rock tunes, have released an album with all original material. After several albums of doing a mixture of covers and originals, the Bad Plus did a CD of all covers with "For all I care", and now with "Never Stop", a CD of all originals. The Bad Plus is a jazz trio featuring Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, and Dave Kingman on drums. Their sound is very modern post bop (post modern post bop?) with a strong flare for the avant-garde. On "Never Stop" they've gone big with grandiose, epic, original anthems. They've written 10 great songs, each one epic and post modern. It's hard to choose which are my favorites. This is CD is a must have for Bad Plus fans. Fans who like their originals are going to be in heaven when they hear this release. Also fans of the piano/bass/drum jazz trio not familiar with the Bad Plus will probably enjoy seeing where these guys have taken this classic jazz format.

Song Highlights:

Radio Tower Has a Beating Heart - The song opens with grandiose, cascading waves of sounds. Iverson's crashing piano chords almost sound like waves crashing on a rocky shore. After about 3 minutes of this crashing background with an interwoven piano solo the songs cleans up into pretty melody.

Never Stop - This song sounds like a modern pop/dance tune. It is an upbeat and epic anthem. When's the last time a jazz trio made you want to jump out of your seat and jump around?

You Are - This tune has a driving bass line with a lengthy reflective piano solo. The piano solo has dark overtones and is sad and epic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Seed on September 15, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
This is the album I've been waiting for. A complete album of original music composed by Anderson, Iverson, and King. They've always had a knack for improving the songs they've chosen to cover, but their writing is on another tier. I had the chance to hear many of these songs during performances by the band in the last two years. It delivers, well worth the wait.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Smarto on January 7, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Before popping in a CD by The Bad Plus, you already know to expect that which cannot be expected. This innovative, off-kilter, and outright odd trio from Minneapolis, MN is comprised of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King (not our MT writer), and has earned a spot on any eclectic jazz mix tape for their ability to defy the taxonomic containers of genres in lieu of a fusion, if not commentary, on how music translates thought to emotion.

So that is what we are left with - emotions.

Never Stop is an entirely instrumental disc - without Wendy Lewis on vocals as in their previous album, For All I Care. So that leaves us with deciphering the jazz code, translating elements like meter, rhythm, cadence, and chords in to digestible experiences - an activity that requires a strong ear.

What first pops out to me about Never Stop is that it is relentlessly jagged. Ubiquitous throughout the entire album, phrasing stabs in unpredictable bursts that interrupt the listeners' expected flow of each song. Outside the realm of simple syncopation, off-beats of off-beats of off-beats punctuate each song with conviction, trying their damnedest to interrupt your comfortable listening process. Even compared to the jazz genre as a whole, this unpredictable phrasing is considerably avant garde.

I must make the distinction for you that there are important differences between avant garde and absurdest Neo-Dada noise music e.g. Yoko Ono's nauseating brand of art. There is, indeed, many layers of thoughtful construction and musicality buried within each track of Never Stop. They are just woven and layered in a manner that requires some careful listening and decoding.

Nor is it true that this album lacks any discernible structure or beat.
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