The prog-jazz trio formed by bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer David King joined forces with singer Wendy Lewis and emerged with “For All I Care,” which is a masterpiece of a disc. The program opens with a cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium” that takes its creator’s quiet desperation to a completely different level. The same happens with Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” which makes us feel like we are actually inside the drug-induced haze narrated by the chorus—while Lewis sings the words, Iverson plays a manic piano riff that has little connection to the melody that goes against Anderson and King’s more straightforward approach. There are several incursions into classical music, that showcase both the trio’s dexterity and chemistry together, but it is their incursions into pop that surprise the most, like the brilliant take on Jon Anderson’s “Long Distance Runaround,” which reinterprets Yes’ very electric classic in an acoustic setting without losing any of its energy. Listen also to their haunting rendition of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” which plays from the jaded, tired point of view of someone who no longer believes in romance—an extremely scary place to be in. NOTE: However, Lewis is not performing with the trio on this night. (Ernest Barteldes)
February 5 at Mandel Hall at University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th, at 7:30pm.