The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|Genres||Jazz, avant-garde jazz|
|Labels||HUI, Universal, Do the Math|
The Bad Plus is an American jazz quartet, formerly a trio, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, consisting of founding bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King, as well as guitarist Ben Monder and tenor saxophonist Chris Speed.
Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and David King first played together in 1989 but established The Bad Plus in 2000. The band recorded their first album, a self-titled effort released on Fresh Sound, after playing only three gigs together. A live performance at the Village Vanguard was heard by Columbia Records representative Yves Beauvais, and the band was signed to Columbia in 2002. Their major label debut album, These Are the Vistas, was released in 2003. This was followed by Give in 2004 and Suspicious Activity? in 2005. After parting ways with Columbia, the group signed to Heads Up Records (a division of Telarc), and released the album Prog in 2007. In early Spring of 2008 they finished recording their next studio album, For All I Care, which features vocalist Wendy Lewis. It was released in autumn 2008 in Europe and in spring 2009 in the US. Their album Never Stop was released in September 2010.
Anderson and King are originally from Minnesota, and Iverson is from neighboring Wisconsin.
King is also part of the Minnesota-based groups Love-Cars; Halloween, Alaska; and Happy Apple. However, he has said that he is only in three working bands because Halloween, Alaska is more of a studio band.
The trio's music combines elements of modern avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences. The band have recorded versions of songs by Nirvana, Aphex Twin, Blondie, Pink Floyd, Ornette Coleman, Pixies, Rush, Tears for Fears, Neil Young, David Bowie, Yes, Interpol, The Flaming Lips, Johnny Cash, The Bee Gees, Burt Bacharach, Cyndi Lauper and Black Sabbath. Blunt Object: Live in Tokyo includes a cover of Queen's "We Are the Champions" along with the jazz standard "My Funny Valentine". Suspicious Activity? contains a cover of the theme from "Chariots of Fire", while a version of "Karma Police" by Radiohead appeared on the 2006 album Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads. The band has said that they changed their sound a little bit for their sixth album, For All I Care.
The trio served as artists in residence at Duke University in 2010 and 2011. On March 24, 2011, they premiered their version of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" at Duke's Reynolds Theater.
On March 13, 2021, the band posted news on social media that Orrin Evans would be leaving the band to "pursue the music under his own name and will be closing his chapter with The Bad Plus." They noted that the band would no longer be a "piano trio (for now, at least)" and that "they are looking forward to expanding the ensemble as they work on creating music for their next record."
In August 2021, the band revealed a new lineup featuring guitarist Ben Monder and tenor saxophonist Chris Speed. They released a new album, entitled simply The Bad Plus, on September 30, 2022.
Studio albums with Ethan Iverson
- The Bad Plus (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2001)
- These Are the Vistas (Columbia, 2003)
- Give (Columbia, 2004)
- Suspicious Activity? (Columbia, 2005)
- Prog (EmArcy, 2007)
- For All I Care (EmArcy, 2008 Europe, 2009 North America)
- Never Stop (EmArcy, 2010)
- Made Possible (EmArcy, 2012)
- The Rite of Spring (Masterworks, 2014)
- Inevitable Western (Okeh, 2014)
- The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (Nonesuch, 2015)
- It's Hard (Okeh, 2016)
Studio albums with Orrin Evans
Studio albums with Chris Speed and Ben Monder
- The Bad Plus (Edition, 2022)
Live albums with Ethan Iverson
- Authorized Bootleg: New York 12/16/01 (Self-Released, 2002)
- Blunt Object: Live in Tokyo (Sony, 2005)
- WFUV: City Folk Live VII (2004) – "And Here We Test Our Powers of Observation"
- Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads (2006, Rapster/Barely Breaking Even) – "Karma Police"
- Everybody Wants to Be a Cat: Disney Jazz Volume 1 (2011) – "Gaston"
- Bahn, Christopher (15 November 2005). "Interview: Dave King of Happy Apple, Bad Plus & Halloween, Alaska | Music | The A.V. Club Blog". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Original versions of Feeling Yourself Disintegrate by the Bad Plus joined by Wendy Lewis | SecondHandSongs". SecondHandSongs.
- "In Conversation with The Bad Plus – Jazz.com | Jazz Music – Jazz Artists – Jazz News". Jazz.com. 2008-10-28. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Menconi, David. "'Rite of Spring' with a jazz twist - Music". NewsObserver.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "The Bad Plus Tackle Stravinsky's 'Spring'". NPR.org. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
- "Village Vanguard - Jazz Club in New York | Portrait". 4attheclub.de (in German). Retrieved 2021-12-16.
- "The Bad Plus to Part Ways with Founding Pianist Ethan Iverson". Wbgo.org. 10 April 2017.
- "The Bad Plus on Instagram: "As we approach the one-year mark since our first show was cancelled, we'd like to take a moment to thank you all for your support as we've navigated our way through this time. It's been a quiet time of reflection and growth for each of us and with that has come the desire for change. We're extremely grateful that you were with us as we relaunched the trio in 2018 and are so proud of the music we created as a result. As we look toward the future, we're excited to venture in new directions and evolve, yet again. Orrin has made the decision to further pursue the music under his own name and will be closing his chapter with the Bad Plus. Reid and Dave will continue on as the Bad Plus and are excited to open the door to new collaborative possibilities and fresh perspectives on their 20+ years of creative music together. While this marks the end of TBP as a piano trio (For now, at least), they are looking forward to expanding the ensemble as they work on creating music for their next record. It is with deep appreciation for the community surrounding us that we share this news, and we make these changes with nothing but love and respect for one another. The future feels bright and full of music for all of us and for now, that's a good place to be. ❤️"". Instagram.com.
- "MarlbankWebsite". Marlbank.net.
- "The Bad Plus Reformulates Again, Now as a Quartet with Ben Monder and Chris Speed". Wbgo.org. 17 August 2021.
- "The Bad Plus". Thebadplus.com. 11 October 2022.
- "Activate Infinity, by The Bad Plus". Thebadplus.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2019-12-04.