The big problem with flutist Hubert Laws’s well-intentioned 1971 jazz take on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is that it didn’t swing anywhere near as hard as even a so-so orchestral version. The Bad Plus don’t make that mistake with On Sacred Ground, which has its New York premiere tonight. The piano trio’s more or less faithfully transcribed arrangement (listen for subtle electronics early on) emphasizes the original’s percussive provocations yet shifts effortlessly between savage crescendos and bucolic interludes. But is it jazz? Ask Nicholas Payton. Germany’s Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, tonight’s opener, gives techno a classical makeover with the help of strings, horns, timpani, and a Moog synth. Judging from 2011’s Mr. Machine, the results are somewhere between Steve Reich and the Zen jazz-funk of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin.
Thu., Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m., 2012