oooh, I wasn't realizing you're from MN.
Living nowhere near there, The Bad Plus to me is just another jazz band that most people around me (meaning, non-jazz fans) have never heard of.
I can understand the thinking that their covers are gimmicky - but on a purely superficial level, I really like their covers. So shrug, y'know?
But it's funny - the people I know that have heard of them do seem to look down on them. Maybe it's just that they're sort of "pop jazz" in a sense. I don't know. But yeah, I still enjoy plenty of their albums.
I do like free-er stuff too, but y'know sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't kind of thing. Haha.