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The Bad Plus: Band on the Run

The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus

It’s Friday night early in the New Year at Joe’s Pub in New York City. The Bad Plus’ Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and Dave King are huddled in an empty closet that functions as a backstage dressing room, trying to sort out the night’s set list. Iverson is sitting on the one chair in the room, writing on a small slip of paper as shortened titles of the band’s repertoire are considered. Remarkably, there is no talk of “I” amongst the three guys who became the “It” jazz group of 2003.

“We should do ‘Do Your Sums,'” King says of an Iverson composition. “What about ‘Street Women’?” asks Iverson, looking at the other two, referring to an Ornette Coleman song. While nothing is said about it, a balance of compositions from each member is included. A radically overhauled version of Black Sabbath’s classic “Iron Man” closes the set. The encore is left to be decided later.

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