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These Are the Vistas

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Audio CD, February 11, 2003
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Big Eater (Album Version) 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Keep The Bugs Off Your Glass And The Bears Off Your Ass (Album Version) 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Album Version) 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Everywhere You Turn (Album Version) 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 1972 Bronze Medalist (Album Version) 5:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Guilty (Album Version) 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Boo-Wah (Album Version) 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Flim (Album Version) 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Heart Of Glass (Album Version) 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Silence Is The Question (Album Version) 8:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 11, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • ASIN: B000087N0V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,603 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Here's a major label debut that doesn't disappoint. For starters, Midwestern piano trio the Bad Plus--in the same vein as Dave Douglas or Brad Mehldau--clearly know a thing or two about how to mix pop music with forward-thinking jazz. The group covers Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Blondie's "Heart of Glass," and Aphex Twin's "Flim" with wit, virtuosity, and respect to the originals--these interpretations never sound in the least bit cliched or overwrought. But even the new material on These Are the Vistas is loaded with infectious hooks. Ethan Iverson uses the entire range of his piano with speed and dexterity; David King's drum fills are deftly placed, at times harkening more to electronica music's lightening fast percussion flourishes than anything on the jazz scene; and bassist Reid Anderson somehow keeps up with the madness and maintains a steady beat. Amidst all the fun is a dynamic record that holds your attention. A wonderful effort. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

The Bad Plus is definitely one of the coolest and most promising trios in the jazz landscape in the US.
T. Hardjono
Topping it off is the unique but wonderful Nirvana cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit" featuring Reid Anderson's driving bass lines and Ethan Iverson's adroit piano work.
B. A Fridley
These guys are great for mood music, but you can also just sit and listen, because these guys keep the music so interesting that it is impossible to get bored.
Jeremy Beales

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on November 7, 2003
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.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ron Cronovich TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 23, 2004
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.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2003
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Felix on December 3, 2005
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.
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