A year after controversy, the new Bad Plus sets SF Bay Area shows


The final straw came when The Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson, on his popular blog Do the Math, posted a controversial interview with keyboardist Robert Glasper, who described female jazz fans in terms some found offensive. The resulting tempest resonated beyond the jazz teapot and sparked commentary on outlets like NPR, which brought simmering tensions in The Bad Plus to a boil.

The group last year announced Iverson’s departure from the collective trio after almost two decades and his replacement last year by Philadelphia’s Orrin Evans. The new incarnation of the influential trio makes its first Bay Area run with a series of gigs at Yoshi’s (Feb. 16-17), Kuumbwa (Feb. 18) and two shows at Café Stritch as part of San Jose Jazz’s Winter Fest (Feb. 21).

The new Bad Plus released an album last year, “Never Stop II” (Legbreaker Records), but the group is still a work in progress, as Evans starts contributing original pieces written specifically with bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King in mind. He’s also thinking carefully about how to make an impact with outside material, as the trio first earned crossover attention with grand, almost operatic renditions of songs such as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit, Radiohead’s “Karma Police,” Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and Aphex Twin’s “Flim.”

“I definitely have tunes, let’s call them covers, that would be great to bring to the organization,” says Evans, 43, a prolific bandleader whose Captain Black Big Band album “Presence” (Smoke Sessions) is nominated for a Grammy Award. “Before the Bad Plus, I had no idea who Aphex Twin was. I did know Rush. My references might be Wendy & Lisa or Bell Biv Devoe. You’ll see who Reid, Dave and I am by the covers we bring together.”

Details: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 16, 7 p.m. Feb.17 at Yoshi’s, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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