CD Review: BBNG2
Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are the epitome of everything that Wynton Marsalis hates, and I’m sure if he ever heard their second album, BBNG2, he would spontaneously combust in fiery rage. Any proponent of classic-sounding jazz would, given the songs off BBNG2 figuratively parallel drummer Alex Sowinski’s words about a favourite Coltrane piece among many jazz musicians: “Fuck that shit”.
BBNG2 fuses complex song structures, traditional jazz playing, individual virtuosity, and hip-hop grooves to create a jazz album that pushes the genre forward despite the love for retrospective thinking commonly found with jazz musicians.
Instead of including a cover of a well-known jazz standard, an instrumental version of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” comes near the album’s end and is definitely one of BBNG2’s highlights. Another standout moment is the ten-odd minutes shared between the songs “Rotten Decay” and “Limit to Your Love”, the former switching between lethargic and spasmodic tempos and the latter featuring an extended bass solo under a straightforward, hip-hop groove.
BBNG2 is an example of how jazz can be new and exciting in 2012. It’s refreshingly new for a genre that can sometimes overlook over forty years of innovation.