Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Bad Plus Research and Mood board

The mood board above was designed by Kelsey Anderson , Bryan Baumgart and myself after listening and researching the music of The Bad Plus. Our approach to the mood board was to find elements that reflected the control and chaotic feel of their music. The structure rectangle is show the containment and control that the band and yet inside reflects the chaos. Their influences is popular and contemporary; as well their free form style in the way they approach their music.

The Bad Plus

Jazz concert : September 25, 2010

Audience: Folly Theater / Jazz aficionados / Anyone that will or enjoys concerts but in regards to this band people that are open minded to the style of jazz

Context: Folly Theater on the building/ window display


Reid Anderson: bass

-Anderson needed more than Minneapolis could offer. “I wanted to get out to the East Coast, but I didn’t have enough money. For some reason, I chose to go to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.” There, he hooked up with Iverson. “We clicked immediately. It was like we were looking for each other. The seeds of what we’re doing now were definitely planted.” At U of W, the orchestra teacher told Reid about Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. “He said I could get in, so I threw myself into learning how to play classical bass. I ’shedded for six hours a day, because I saw it as my ticket east.” His work paid off: Reid was accepted to Curtis, where he earned his degree after three years. After leaving school, Anderson hung around Philly for a year, devoting his life to jazz—but he had trouble settling into the local jazz scene. “Breaking in was a horrible experience; I didn’t know anybody. But eventually I hooked up with some great musicians, like pianist Orrin Evans. Then I moved to New York and started over.”


Ethan Iverson: piano

-Ethan Iverson is best known as the pianist with the innovative piano trio the Bad Plus, but he had an extensive career prior to the formation of the group. Born in 1973 in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He moved to New York in 1991, where he took private lessons from Fred Hersch. Iverson made his recording debut in 1993 on School Work, matching ideas with Dewey Redman. He was the musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group, performing with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Yo-Yo Ma. He has also worked with Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, Patrick Zimmerli, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Charlie Haden. Iverson’s trio recorded Construction Zone (originals) and Deconstruction Zone (standards) during 1998.

David King: drums

-Born 8 June 1970, is a drummer and composer active in Minneapolis, Minnesota since the 1990s. He is a founding member of Happy Apple and the Bad Plus, both of which are jazz trios, although neither play traditional styles. He works simultaneously in around a dozen other bands, many in the jazz, electronic , indie and rock genres. In March 2010, Minneapolis's Walker Art Center paid tribute to King by presenting two nights of live music, with King performing in a half-dozen ensembles, including two new bands, before a sold-out crowd.


-King started playing the piano when he was four. By the time he took formal lessons, at five, he had mastered the basics. “He just sat for hours, sounding things out on the piano,” his father says. “And he began making things up on the piano, which led to the improvisation he does today.”
-In the fifth grade, King had to choose an instrument to play in the school band. His dad says he wanted him to play the trumpet, but “he tried out for drums, so that was the end of that.” King taught himself the drums, and almost immediately was able to play along with records. When he was in the seventh grade, he bought his first drum set from a friend for $100. “It had his name on the front of the head,” King says, “so every time I played, it said my name was Marty Jackson.”


THE BAD PLUS as a group:

-Anderson and King are from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Iverson is from neighboring Wisconsin.

-The three musicians first played together in 1989, but didn’t come together as an established act until 2000.

-Iverson knew bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King when they were teenagers in the Midwest and they played together on one occasion in 1990, but the Bad Plus was not formed until 2000.

-King in an interview mentioned: “We grew up together, so there are no real surprises. Reid and I are really close; we hang out all the time when we’re on tour. Ethan is close with us, too, but he keeps to himself a lot. He has his spy novels and his jazz and that keeps him going.”

-No one player dominates the proceedings, and each is a refreshingly talented and original craftsman.

-King also mentioned in regards the group: “We grew up together and learned to play together at a very young stage in our musical careers, and then we moved away from each other for about 10 years when we hit our twenties. I moved to L.A. and began work as a session player, Reid moved to New York to play, and Ethan became the musical director of the Mark Morris Dance Group. After a long time apart, we got back together and played some shows, and it just kinda clicked immediately. It was so easy. We had no agenda, and we just wanted to play music together. I’ve found that the most successful things in life aren’t forced.”



-Anderson, Iverson, and King are jazz musicians in the old-school sense—passionate improvisers who are inspired by a wide range of sources and have strong opinions on the state of their chosen art form.

-Influence on the modern music scene performing rock songs as creative jazz but with the sensibility and spirit of rockers. Making them create a several albums with included a version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and “Flim” by Aphex Twin. Give contains covers of tunes by the Pixies and Black Sabbath, while Suspicious Activity contains a cover of the theme from Chariots of Fire. Prog contains a cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”.

-Seventies rock—yet another inspiration.


The Bad Plus Uniqueness

-They preserve the true nature of jazz while infusing hip-hop, rock, punk, and avant-garde flavors into a distinctive sound. (

-“From gentle and melodic to fierce and abstract, from swing to ’80 techno. NEVER STOP is tied together by a group of sound that embraces diversity as strength.” (

-Progressive or experimental jazz often sounds free and reckless, but they carefully select and play each note and beat. ( )

- They reinterpreted and covers songs and rearrange in their style.


-From gentle and melodic to fierce and abstract

-Chaotic, faster and then control, band brings structure

-Slow and tempo picks up

-Intense shifts of mood and volume

-Infusing hip-hop, rock, punk into a distinctive sound

-Improvisation and spontaneity

-Instruments: Piano, double bass, drum set but they all put their personality and they work off each other very well.

Discriptive Words



-Avant-garde: experimental innovative ; free playing











-Out there


-Populism: ordinary people




-Free Form




-Break from tradition





-Rolling Stone critic David Fricke says, “One of the great things that [The Bad Plus does] is polarize the jazz community. There’s an insular, almost rabbinical quality to the jazz community. Anything that starts arguments is a good thing, because it brings in new influences. The fact that The Bad Plus covers Black Sabbath without embarrassment is both traditional and a total break with tradition. They’re increasing the jazz tradition, they’re making it bigger, they’re making it a broader church. They’re also one of the most exciting live bands going right now, in any genre. Playing a Black Sabbath song—that’s funny. But it can also be intensely powerful because of the nature of the song and the sound of the original version.”

-“The Bad Plus are trio toying with mass appeal in genre gone unfortunately highbrow.” (

-“Audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio crunches and at times pulverizes swing to let improvisational freedom shine...Dynamics play a huge roll in the act's music, as does humor, an element sorely lacking in most of contemporary jazz. But beauty is also key... jazz purists tremble while the vanguard flocks.” Billboard

-“...high art, not pop gimmickry...The Bad Plus embrace sonic adventure without selfish avant-gardism...seething with funky new-millennium rhythms and succulent harmonic flights.” -Entertainment Weekly

-“You get the feeling from the band's press material that they want to move away from being "that jazz band that does rock covers" and I must say, I side with them if my assumption is correct.”


- “ The Bad Plus 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, a few have inspired such controversy.” (


- The new release of their new album NEVER STOP being release September 14, 2010 will the concert in September 25, 2010 will it be mostly of their new songs?

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