The Bad Plus: This Guy's In Love With You

Cocktail lounge music from hell? No, it's just The Bad Plus playing games with a song that is best kept locked inside elevators and dental practices. This Bacharach and David tune was never cool. After all, it was debuted by Herb Alpert (of Tijuana Brass fame) on a TV show. Herb Alpert is to cool what kryptonite is to Superman. But this trio doesn't put "Bad" in their name for nothing. They like to play up the hokey elements in songs like this -- check out how they rev up the overwrought part near the end of melody -- but occasionally mixing in some radical jazz elements to show that they -- The Bad Plus -- are above it all. I usually prefer my songs played straight and with real emotion, but when I want a dose of postmodern, deconstructionist jazz, this band gets the nod. A fun outing from the most irreverent trio in jazz.

December 21, 2007 · 0 comments


Jimmy Smith: This Guy's in Love with You

The schmaltzy Burt Bacharach/Hal David pop song “This Guy’s in Love with You” was for a while something of a jazz standard (and it’s coming around again, with new versions by the Bad Plus and others). Its most natural-sounding incarnation is the one recorded by Jimmy Smith’s trio at an Atlanta club in 1968. Despite the recording’s obvious flaw – the inconsiderate crowd at Paschal’s La Carousel is heard talking throughout the tune – the trio puts on a soul-jazz master class. Donald Bailey’s drumming is clean and crisp, and George Benson’s smooth genius on the guitar is already on display. Smith lays low at first, holding down chords for Benson, and then comes alive with a solo that throws every conceivable B-3 idea at the chart.

October 28, 2007 · 0 comments


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