RIP Dr. John the Night Tripper.
An occasional series where I feature jazz bands who take a rock tune and spin it on its head …
–It’s hard to find much about the genesis of this first album but indications are it might have been the brainstorm of organist Sam Yahel. Together with drummer Ari Hoenig, guitarist Mike Moreno and saxman Seamus Blake, in 2008 he released an album called Jazz Side of the Moon. (If you need me to name the original band, don’t let the Internet hit you on the way out.)
Here they do “Money” and it’s about the coolest thing I ever heard.
–The Minneapolis-bred trio known as Bad Plus (pictured on top of post) have been around almost twenty years. The original line-up consisted of Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass), and Dave King (drummer.)*
Wikipedia: “The trio’s music combines elements of modern avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences. The band have recorded versions of songs by Nirvana, Aphex Twin, Blondie, Pink Floyd, Ornette Coleman, Pixies, Rush, Tears for Fears, Neil Young, David Bowie, Yes, Interpol, and Black Sabbath.” (!)
On their eponymous 2001 debut album, in addition to songs by Abba and Broadway writers Lorenz and Hart, they also recorded their intense version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” (As near as I can tell they changed labels between the 1st and 2nd albums and so “Teen Spirit” is also on that one.)
–It’s not entirely clear to me that the band Fly is still together as a unit but the players are definitely still around. Another trio, the band consists of saxophonist Mark Turner, drummer Jeff Ballard, and bassist Larry Grenadier.
Of their eponymous 2004 debut album, AllMusic said, “If your ears are starved for innovative jazz that blends punchy sax lines and dense, wild, worldbeat-flavored bass and drum rhythms, let this newly formed trio with an amazing pedigree fill the bill … Fly is definitely a cooperative by three major jazz talents.”
Jimi Hendrix’ great “Spanish Castle Magic.”
–The Beatles were a band who – sources advise me – had some success in the ’60s. Their music has been covered by just about everybody and here I give you the Jazz Crusaders take on “Eleanor Rigby.” (The band later changed its name to The Crusaders.)
The Crusaders were popular throughout the ’60s and ’70s, the latter especially in a fusion format with guitar great Larry Carlton. “Rigby” comes from a 1968 live album called Lighthouse ’68.
Personnel are: Wayne Henderson, trombone; Wilton Felder, tenor saxophone; Joe Sample, piano; Buster Williams, bass; Stix Hooper, drums.**
*Iverson left Bad Plus a few years back and was replaced by Orrin Evans.
**Most of these guys – along with Carlton – wound up at one time or another on Steely Dan albums.