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"If you ain't got it in you, you can't blow it out."
— Louis Armstrong

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bad Plus Plays It Straight(ish): Interview with Ethan Iverson

Last year The Bad Plus released Never Stop, their first disc of purely original songs.  Looking back on the 2010, I think I may have overlooked this disc in the hailstorm of fantastic jazz piano recordings.  There are several tunes here that, as well as anything this great band has ever done, expand the definition of swing to include a variety of creative backbeats.  Unlike the jazz-rock fusion of the ‘70s or the smooth jazz-funk of the last 25 years, this incarnation of rocking jazz is as rubbery and rich as Ellington.

I had the chance to interview Ethan Iverson, the pianist for The Bad Plus, and that interview (after too long a delay) is finally published at Popatters today, RIGHT HERE.

Iverson is an incredibly articulate and even sweet guy, and talking to him is a real pleasure.  He has a lot to say.  I think it is particularly interesting that, when asked about all the slew of great and creative young pianist in jazz today, he agreed with me, but added: "I wish more of them would have the courage to take their name off the marquee and be in a band instead.  That is really the way I want to be influential:  form bands."

Check out Iverson, but more importantly check out his band, The Bad Plus.

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