Piano trio the Bad Plus is best known for raucous and irrepressibly goofy versions of rock songs like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Iron Man’. Although their arrangements are invariably spirited and clever, the jazz-trio-playing-rock thing has always smacked of gimmickry and aroused suspicions that the group is basically a cynical novelty act — the Dynamite Hack of the jazz world, if you will. Ironically, it’s the Bad Plus’ Suspicious Activity? that should ultimately put those suspicions to rest. Suspicious Activity? is a surprisingly reflective affair for the Bad Plus, but the quiet, bittersweet strain that ties the album together serves to make the group’s signature sweeping crescendos all the more cathartic. The new originals are improbably catchy and emotive for their complexity, and the trio’s spontaneous interplay now borders on what Miles Davis used to call E.S.P. The one pop cover present is a weirdly heartbreaking interpretation of the theme from Chariots of Fire that manages to reflect all that is cross-eyed and beautiful about the Bad Plus.