For All I Care (With Wendy Lewis)

For All I Care (With Wendy Lewis)

Given this jazz-not-jazz trio’s sly dedication to bending genres and enraging purists, the addition here of alt-rock singer Wendy Lewis seems more like an overdue experiment than a radical departure. Rather than muzzling their formidable interpretative powers or reducing Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano) and David King (drums) to a backing band, Lewis stars in a surprising re-invention of the Flaming Lips “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” and gives a rightly strident take on Heart’s “Barracuda,” one that rides atop Iverson’s swaying flurry of notes. Anderson’s replication on standup bass of the signature riff in “Barracuda,” is a highpoint. Lewis’ deadpan on Nirvana’s “Lithium” fits beautifully with the way the group pulls the tune in and out of shape with playful but abrupt shifts in tempo and mood. For those who miss just the piano trio, plenty of instrumental muscle remains and the threesome’s stab at modern vocal composer Georgy Ligeti’s “Fém,” is inventive yet respectful, proof anew that despite the title, they remain committed to ingenuity and re-invention.

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