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 Monday, 21 April 2014
The Bad Plus in San Francisco and Santa Cruz Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 December 2010
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Bad Plus © Andrea Canter

For the past ten years The Bad Plus---Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and David King---have broken down the walls of jazz convention and created an uncompromising body of work. Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have inspired such controversy. Their belief in the band ethos and their personal brand of avant-garde populism have put them at the forefront of a new instrumental music movement, drawing audiences both traditional and mainstream. While the bulk of their output has been original music, they have deconstructed songs in the pop, rock as well as the country and classical music idioms.  Their new release NEVER STOP is the first album by The Bad Plus to consist entirely of originals.  The Bad Plus will appear at on Saturday, December 4, 8pm at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco and on Monday, December 6th at the Kuumbwa Center in Santa Cruz.


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Reid Anderson &cyop; Andrea Canter

For the past 10 years The Bad Plus have created an uncompromising body of work by shattering musical convention. Rolling Stone called their amalgam of jazz, pop, rock and avant garde "about as badass as highbrow gets," while The New York Times said the band is "better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-'60s jazz and indie rock." Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have generated as much controversy while audaciously bucking musical trends.


While the bulk of their output has been originals, they have famously deconstructed covers in the pop, rock, electronic and classical idioms. Their belief in a band ethos and "avant-garde populism" has placed them at the forefront of a new instrumental music movement, resulting in ever-larger audiences.

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Ethan Iverson © Andrea Canter
The threesome has been exchanging musical ideas since their teenage years. In the late '80s, Anderson and King were two Minnesota high schoolers playing in fledgling rock bands and digging records by Coltrane and The Police. Anderson met Iverson in 1989. All three played together on one occasion a year later before going their separate ways for ten years.

They reconvened for a gig in Minneapolis in 2000. Sparks flew, studio sessions for an indie release ensued, and suddenly The New York Times called their maiden voyage one of the best releases of 2001. The band signed with Columbia, where they released These Are the Vistas in 2003, followed quickly by Give and then Suspicious Activity? In 2007 they released Prog, an album which balanced originals with spellbinding covers of Bowie, Bacharach, Tears for Fears and Rush. For All I Care, with its intriguing juxtaposition of rock and classical sensibilities, followed in 2009.
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Dave King © Andrea Canter


Ten years ago, not one of these musicians could have predicted where The Bad Plus was going, how long it would last, or what it might become along the way. What they were sure of, though, was a fierce sense of commitment that has blossomed into artistic success.

The Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. For tickets visit http://sfperformances.org/performances/1011/TheBadPlus.html

The Kuumbwa Jazz Center is located at 320-2 Cedar Street in Santa Cruz. Call  (831) 427-2227 or visit  www.kuumbwajazz.org for ticket information



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