The Blue Note Presents 'The Bad Plus', 4/6-4/11

The Bad Plus, a trio that the New York Times calls "better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-60's jazz and indie rock," returns to the Blue Note from April 6 - 11. Featuring Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson and bass and Dave King on drums, The Bad Plus has released six albums to date. Their most recent effort, For All I Care (2009) included vocalist Wendy Lewis and featured covers of pop songs as well as 20th century classical works. All Music Guide calls the recording "one of the most compelling releases yet by one of the new jazz's finest bands to emerge in the 21st century."

WHEN: Tuesday, April 6 - Sunday, April 11, 2010; Sets @ 8:00pm & 10:30pm

WITH: Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Anderson, bass; Dave King, drums

COST: $25 @ table /$15 @ bar

WHERE: The Blue Note; 131 W 3rd. St, New York, NY 10012

MORE: Doors open at 6pm. Set times are 8pm and 10:30pm nightly.

Forget categories and catch phrases - the sound of The Bad Plus is distinctive, eclectic and formidable. The Bad Plus have exploded all notions of what a jazz piano trio should sound like, whether at outdoor rock festivals, jazz clubs or symphony halls.

The group dug its roots in the wood-paneled, sump-pumped basements of the Midwest. Drummer David King and bassist Reid Anderson hooked up as teens in their native Minnesota, bouncing between junior high rock bands and long nights listening to John Coltrane and The Police. Soon after, Anderson met Wisconsin-reared pianist Ethan Iverson and formed an alliance - sort of. The threesome played for the first time in 1990, then went their separate ways for the better part of the decade.

Their paths crossed again for a one-off gig in Minneapolis in 2000. Thrilled by the instant chemistry, the group tracked a self-titled disc for a Spanish indie label, Fresh Sound - a sneak-attack set would soon be hailed by the New York Times as one of 2001's best releases of the year.

A deal with Columbia Records followed, and amid relentless touring the band crafted material for 2003's These Are the Vistas. Produced by Tchad Blake (Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits) the album contained riveting originals alongside sharp readings of Nirvana, Aphex Twin and Blondie.

Two more albums followed in rapid succession - Give in (2004) and Suspicious Activity? (2005). Worldwide touring continued, which further cemented the trio's reputation as being passionate and powerful.

The Bad Plus joined forces with Heads Up International for the May 2007 release of Prog. Co-helmed by veteran UK producer Tony Platt (Bob Marley, AC/DC), the disc showcases six singularly original compositions alongside crackling takes on Tears For Fears, Burt Bacharach, David Bowie and Rush.

Following the release of Prog, described by Billboard as "easily the most likable and listenable jazz album of 2007," the trio wanted to try some new ideas and broaden their musical concept. To that end, the band took a giant step forward with the February 3, 2009, release of For All I Care (HUCD 3148) on Heads Up International.

A mix of highly familiar rock and pop pieces alongside some not-so-familiar 20th century classical compositions, For All I Care represents the band's egalitarian approach to all forms of music, regardless of source, genre or style. To their way of thinking, quality and integrity can be found at any point along the continuum.

In the end, The Bad Plus seeks to level the playing field. "We're not going to treat one kind of music like high art and another like disposable entertainment," says King. "We consider the whole spectrum to be worthy of our detailed attention and worthy of the same respect."

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