Musical Comedy: The Bad Plus

bad+This post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

The Bad Plus is a contemporary jazz trio (piano, bass, and drums) who are known for blending modern jazz style/virtuosity with ironic covers of popular songs. These include “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2003) [originally by Nirvana (1991)] and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (2007) [originally by Tears for Fears (1985)]. Garrett [see Quote Library and Week 8] describes the humor of the group in relationship to jazz humor of the past:

“Considering the performance aesthetic employed by The Bad Plus, a sly but knowing hipness that draws on aspects of modern jazz and rock, these strategies do not indicate the rebirth of jazz slapstick in twenty-first century; instead, the irony created by these juxtapositions enables these artists to mix traditional and unconventional practices, establishing territory for themselves in today’s modern world.” (Garrett 2012, 67)

See Also:

Week 8 (Sounds of Laughter)

The Bad Plus on YouTube

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist and Instructor

Leave a Reply