The Bad Plus
Friday, October 12
…if this piano trio wants to play as loud as a rock band…well, let ‘em rip…these bad boys have the musicianship to back up their attitude.
—The New Yorker
The bad plus performs
and here we test our powers of observation
On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
[WEST COAST PREMIERE]
Arranged and Performed by The Bad Plus
About This Performance
Rule-breaking, genre-bending, uncompromising and thoroughly entertaining are a few phrases that begin to describe this outstanding trio that made its welcome SF Performances debut in 2009. The charismatic and controversial bad boys of jazz return with their high-voltage take on Stravinsky’s history-making Rite of Spring for its upcoming 100th anniversary year.
The Bad Plus has spent over a decade breaking down the walls of jazz convention, reaching audiences of all demographic stripes with an uncompromising body of original music (plus some ingenious, genre-jumping covers) and dedicated touring around the globe. Few jazz groups in recent memory have generated such a mix of acclaim and controversy. Throughout their career, bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer David King have held fast to a band ethos (deeply collaborative with no “leader”) and a belief in what they like to call avant-garde populism (progressive, musically sophisticated ideas without the bullshit high-brow trappings).
On Made Possible, the group’s 8th studio album, The Bad Plus unleashes nine spellbinding original tracks that showcase everything this groundbreaking trio is capable of: heart-pounding acoustic anthems, bleary melancholia, fearless juxtapositions, tunefully mathy contortions and a masterful sense of song. What’s more, the band peppers this latest outing with a few tasteful flecks of electronics—check the 808 clicks and claps in I Want to Feel Good Part Two or the sinister synth layering on Wolf Out. From first listen, it’s the sound of three gifted players and composers at a dizzying creative peak, proving yet again that a piano-bass-drums trio can still transport listeners to rapturous and uncharted places.
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