BADBADNOTGOOD is a group and not a cd review!

BADBADNOTGOOD, besides being the only band I know of to employ the caps-lock strategy, is unique in countless other ways. Ones that matter, I daresay.  Chiefly in their approach to music, which sets them apart from more than a few up and comers in this generation of jazz.            They employ electronic instruments. Nothing original there, but the manner they do it is noteworthy. So crucial are keyboards to their brand, it sometimes feels like they have an orchestra of them. But this is not electronic wash. Recruiting guests like violin great Regina Carter, ambient pioneer Laraaji and harp goddess Brandee Younger, they’ve cultivated “Talk Memory” (XL Records), which is a sonic quest, really. Jazz is becoming a nesting place for an increasingly diverse array of musical expression. Of course that’s always been true and traditions must be bent once in a while.Nobody knows that better than Nicholas Payton. He started out as a golden child traditionalist  in the same ilk as his idol and New Orleans compatriot, Louis Armstrong. After about a dozen recordings in the traditional and post-bop confines, he began to bristle about the typecasting and even challenged the idea of jazz itself. A young man influenced by the music of his generation, he began to incorporate hip hop, electronica and pop into his still jazzy music. Breaking away from Verve records seemed to emancipate him, creatively. He took up singing, keyboards and his work seemed to take on a modern cultural immediacy.Smoke Sessions,” named for the club and label in New York, is a bit of both columns: Traditional and progressive. If you’re going to be blessed with a bassist, it doesn’t get any better than Ron Carter. He is the one of the last survivors of his era and arguable among the greatest living or dead players of the instrument. His nod of a approval, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” is a pretty good endorsement. Good enough for me, anyway. Also featuring: Karriem Riggins and George Coleman.Music Director88.5 KBEM-FM | Jazz88.FMMinneapolis Public Schools1555 James Ave N, Mpls MN 55411612-668-1752

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