Ethan Iverson

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Ethan Iverson
Iverson in 2009
Iverson in 2009
Background information
Born (1973-02-11) February 11, 1973 (age 49)
Menomonie, Wisconsin, U.S.
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz
LabelsFresh Sound, Sunnyside, HighNote, Criss Cross, ECM

Ethan Iverson (born February 11, 1973) is a pianist, composer, and critic best known for his work in the avant-garde jazz trio The Bad Plus with bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King.

Iverson was born in Menomonie, Wisconsin.[1] Before forming The Bad Plus, he was musical director of the Mark Morris Dance Group and a student of Fred Hersch and Sophia Rosoff. He has worked with artists such as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tim Berne, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Lee Konitz, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Paul Motian, Larry Grenadier, Charlie Haden and Ron Carter.[2] He currently studies with John Bloomfield and is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.[3]

In 2017, the Bad Plus announced that Iverson was leaving the group, to be replaced by Orrin Evans.[4] Also in 2017, the Mark Morris Dance Group premiered Pepperland, for which Iverson composed the score (derived from parts of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) and led the band during performances.[5]

In 2018, Iverson premiered his Concerto to Scale with the American Composers Orchestra;[6] released the album Temporary Kings with saxophonist Mark Turner on the ECM label; and toured Europe with the Billy Hart Quartet.[7]

In 2019, Iverson and trumpeter Tom Harrell released the album Common Practice, recorded at the Village Vanguard, on ECM. Iverson also served as an artistic director of the 2019 Jazz te Gast festival in the Netherlands, at which his orchestral piece Solve for X premiered.[5]

In 2021, Iverson's album Bud Powell in the 21st Century, featuring Ingrid Jensen, Dayna Stephens, Ben Street, Lewis Nash, and the Umbria Jazz Orchestra, was released on Sunnyside Records.[8]

2022 saw the release of Iverson's first record for Blue Note, "Every Note is True", with Larry Grenadier and Jack DeJohnette. The album contains mostly Iverson originals for trio, plus DeJohnette's "Blue" and Iverson's song "The More It Changes" for 44-person socially distanced choir.

Iverson also writes about music and music-related topics, and has been published by The New Yorker,[9] NPR,[10] and The Nation.[11]


As leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1993 School Work Mons Some tracks trio, with Johannes Weidenmueller (bass), Falk Willis (drums); some tracks quartet, with Dewey Redman (tenor sax) added[12]
1998 Construction Zone (Originals) Fresh Sound New Talent Trio, with Reid Anderson (bass), Jorge Rossy (drums)[13]
1998 Deconstruction Zone (Standards) Fresh Sound New Talent Trio, with Reid Anderson (bass), Jorge Rossy (drums)[13]
1999 The Minor Passions Fresh Sound New Talent Trio, with Reid Anderson (bass), Billy Hart (drums)[13]
2000 Live at Smalls Fresh Sound New Talent Quartet, with Bill McHenry (tenor sax), Reid Anderson (bass), Jeff Williams (drums); in concert[13][14]
2012 Costumes Are Mandatory HighNote Most tracks quartet, with Lee Konitz (alto sax), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jorge Rossy (drums); some tracks trio, duo, solo[15]
2016 The Purity of the Turf Criss Cross Most tracks trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Nasheet Waits (drums); one track solo piano[16][17]
2017 Temporary Kings ECM Duo, with Mark Turner (tenor sax)[18][19]
2017 Common Practice ECM Quartet, with Tom Harrell (trumpet), Ben Street (bass), Eric McPherson (drums)
2018 Bud Powell in the 21st Century Sunnyside With the Umbria Jazz Orchestra plus quintet with Dayna Stephens (tenor sax), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Ben Street (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)[20]
2021 Every Note Is True Blue Note Trio, with Larry Grenadier (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)

With The Bad Plus

As sideman[edit]

With Albert Heath

  • Live at Small's (SmallsLive, 2010)
  • Tootie's Tempo (Sunnyside, 2013)
  • Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside, 2015)

With Billy Hart

With Buffalo Collision (incl. Tim Berne, Hank Roberts, David King)

  • Duck (2008)

With Chris Cheek, Ben Street, and Jorge Rossy

  • Live at the Jamboree: Guilty (Fresh Sound, 2002)
  • Live at the Jamboree: Lazy Afternoon (Fresh Sound, 2002)

With Avantango (Thomas Chapin and Pablo Aslan)

  • Y en el 2000 Tambien... (EPSA Music, Argentina)

With Patrick Zimmerli

  • Twelve Sacred Dances (1998)
  • Clockworks (2018)

Personal life[edit]

Iverson lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, the writer Sarah Deming.[5]


  1. ^ "Bad Plus". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 30–33. ISBN 9780824211219.
  2. ^ Adler, David R. "Ethan Iverson | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Pianist Ethan Iverson joined New England Conservatory's jazz studio faculty in 2016". New England Conservatory. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ "The Bad Plus Greet the New Year With a New Lineup". 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Ethan Iverson's Bio Page". 17 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  6. ^ Walls, Seth Colter (8 April 2018). "Review: American Composers Orchestra Brings Jazz to Classical, Effortlessly (Published 2018)". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Ethan Iverson: At the Crossroads of Jazz and Classical Music". 5 October 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  8. ^ Grillo, Tyran (2 January 2021). "In the Same Breath: An Interview with Ethan Iverson". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  9. ^ Iverson, Ethan. "Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and One Night in New York City". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead At 74". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  11. ^ Iverson, Ethan (24 December 2020). "Modern Hollywood Discovers Its Jazz 'Soul'". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  12. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Ethan Iverson: School Work". AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 751. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  14. ^ Adler, David R. "Reid Anderson / Ethan Iverson / Bill McHenry / Jeff Williams: Live at Small's". AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  15. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Larry Grenadier / Ethan Iverson / Lee Konitz / Jorge Rossy: Costumes Are Mandatory". AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Fordham, John (December 1, 2016). "Ethan Iverson: The Purity of the Turf Review – Like a Time-Travelling Monk Trio". The Guardian.
  17. ^ "Criss Cross Jazz 1391 CD". Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Grillo, Tyran (September 1, 2018). "Mark Turner / Ethan Iverson: Temporary Kings (ECM 2583)". Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  19. ^ Richards, Chris (September 5, 2018). "Mark Turner and Ethan Iverson's Jazz? It Sounds Like Stravinsky and the Blues". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ "Ethan Iverson - Bud Powell in the 21st Century". Sunnyside Records.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]