Since I took the opportunity to review an old movie, why not an old jazz interpretation (2003) from The Bad Plus? Teen Spirit of course was a Mennen-created deodorant for girls that was popular in the 1990s. The song by Nirvana is what probably made the product “famous,” and it has been re-done a number of times by groups who have capitalized on the hit that became popular originally when I was in high school.
I had a friend that was into Nirvana–I can’t say it was my cup of tea at the time. In hindsight, I like the song. If not for its musical qualities, the nostalgia alone gives it caché.
So, this is an arrangement for jazz trio. I came across the track in reading a review of an amplifier, believe it or not. The reviewer remarked how well the amp handled bass, and used this track as an example. I listened to a preview and figured it wasn’t half bad.
It comes from the album These are the Vistas. I thought I’d start with this track, since the song was familiar. I think they do a fairly good job at re-imagining the piece for trio; the most creative contribution comes from the piano, which is treated not only as a melody instrument but as a sound-effect machine. We could say the same for Cobain’s guitars. The piece isn’t as raw as the original, nor as articulate as the “unplugged” Nirvana versions. However, it’s kind of a nice grown-up version that shines. And why? That bass…
The bass comes out of no where, thick and intense. It opens with piano, the drums enter, then the piano goes away, and the bass pops out of your left speaker. It’s fat, and it’s bad… Maybe the appropriate word is phat.
The Bad Plus is new to me; they have many more releases since this one in 2003. Much more to explore in my off-days away from Barockmusik.