Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2009 release from the Progressive Jazz trio joined on this album from guest vocalist Wendy Lewis. The album marks the first Bad Plus recording to include a guest vocalist as the fourth instrument in its sonic arsenal. But For All I Care is more than just an album pairing a singer with a backing band. The recording is inspired in part by the collaborative recording by John Coltrane and vocalist Johnny Hartman, released in 1963. 'Coltrane's quartet had already developed a group language, and then they enlisted this incredible singer without changing the language of the band,' says the band. 'In that same sense, this is still very much a Bad Plus record. We just happen to have a great singer singing the songs with us.'
Rolling Stone (p.67) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Groups like the Bad Plus have made jazz covers cool again -- maybe because one senses a true love for rock, not just its crossover potential.
JazzTimes (pp.69-70) - "Anderson, the most expressive player, rumbles alongside Lewis' near-whisper on the Pink Floyd favorite's A-section to create impressive malevolence; Iverson gives the B-section beauty with high, delicate arpeggios."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Lewis] sings the melodies straight, in warm, passionate tones....The band make each piece their own on this, their most satisfying set for years."
Paste (magazine) (p.58) - "For all of The Bad Plus' instrumental prowess and fearless exploration; it's Lewis' voice that stars here, bending notes and emotion to her will..."
Personnel: Reid Anderson (vocals, bass guitar); David King (vocals, drums); Wendy Lewis (vocals); Ethan Iverson (piano, bells); Ryan Walch (piano).
Audio Mixer: Tchad Blake.
Audio Remasterer: Bob Ludwig.
Progressive jazz trio the Bad Plus have inspired both adulation and derision for their dedication to playing intricate, avant-jazz versions of popular pop and rock tunes. Love it or hate it, the group's revisionist m.o. remains unchanged on 2009's FOR ALL I CARE, a set composed completely of covers and featuring the rock vocals of singer Wendy Lewis. Kicking off with an off-kilter reading of Nirvana's "Lithium," the Bad Plus take on songs by Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, Heart, Yes, Wilco, and the Bee Gees, among others. Most of the renditions are languid and loungey, sporting spare instrumentation that frames Lewis's breathy, seductive alto.