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Ethan Iverson
pianist in The Bad Plus, blogger at Do The Math
Recent Activity
New DTM pages: The Drum Thing, or, A Brief History of Whiplash, or, "I'm Generalizing Here" and a guest post by Mark Stryker, Traps, the Drum Wonder. --- Reminder, sign up for Floyd Camembert Reports if you want Iversonian spam about gigs etc. Tootie Heath w. Ben and me at... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Do The Math
Aw, what a nice thing Tim Wilkins has written about Philadelphia Beat for WBGO, where you can stream tracks as well. Damn. "Bag's Groove" sounds pretty good even if I say so myself. Tootie Heath DTM page updated with Beat photos and extraordinary commentary by Hyland Harris. The band is... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Do The Math
Rest in Peace, Clark Terry. NY Times obit by Peter Keepnews Peter Hum's comments and links --- In May 1958 Clark Terry went into the studio with Thelonious Monk, Sam Jones, and Philly Joe Jones for Orrin Keepnews and Riverside Records. The resulting album, In Orbit, is almost certainly Terry's... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at Do The Math
Harry Truman plays Mozart (badly) at the White House. Richard Nixon plays piano on Jack Parr (his own "music," but he didn't orchestrate the strings). Bill Clinton, saxophonist, plays some of "God Bless the Child" on Arsenio Hall. My centennial celebration of Lester Young. --- I haven't thought of that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Do The Math
(image stolen from Obscure Queer Blues) Recently I was struck by the utter perfection of "Bessie's Blues," the superb sermon on Coltrane's Crescent. Is this the greatest 3.5 minutes of music ever recorded? That's pointless question, but at any rate "Bessie's Blues" is a rare Trane track that could have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at Do The Math
The Bad Plus has generally had some very nice press about our version of The Rite of Spring, but this latest hit is one I particularly like. Jason Haaheim and Rob Knopper interviewed me at length, then Haaheim wrote it up for their blog at the Met Orchestra Musicians. This... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Do The Math
Tonight, starting at 7 PM, my free masterclass. “The Drawing Room” 56 Willoughby St. #3 btw Jay and Lawrence St. in downtown Brooklyn. Almost every subway train gets extremely close: Borough Hall for 4/5, Hoyt St for 2/3, Jay St for A/C/F…the very closest stop is Lawrence on R. Mostly... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Do The Math
Selma is wonderful! Highly recommended. I saw it yesterday at BAM with a packed house. So, so good. Kudos to my man Jason Moran for the score; however the real relevation for this viewer was David Oyelowo as Dr. King. Tom Wilkinson as LBJ was terrific too. When Oyelowo and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Do The Math
Many people know David King is a very funny man. Indeed, the (great) group Happy Apple has a cult following partly due to Dave's extended and profoundly hilarious commentary on the mic. He has never been the MC for The Bad Plus, I think because Dave knows that he would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Do The Math
Congratulations to Jazz at the Bistro for a wonderful upgrade and remodeling job. It was always fun to play here, now the experience is deluxe. The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in Grand Center joins SF Jazz and JALC as a multi-fold dedicated space for jazz. This reminds... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Do The Math
TBP is not so busy for the first few months of 2015, so I'm having two free masterclasses on consecutive Wednesdays: January 14 and 21 from 7-10 PM “The Drawing Room” 56 Willoughby St. #3 btw Jay and Lawrence St. in downtown Brooklyn. Almost every subway train gets extremely close:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Do The Math
Thelonious Monk emphasized rhythm in a manner that encouraged drummers. Some of the most exciting moments of Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, and Max Roach on record are occasions when they sparred with Monk. Naturally, Monk couldn’t always get the big stars for his working band, so he looked for the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Do The Math
One day left for Vision Fest to reach its mark. Vision Fest is a crucial showcase for many of the music's most radical and freewheeling improvisors. Another recommended tax write-off is Dance Heginbotham's Campaign to Sustain. I've known John for years, he's brilliant. This coming summer we will premiere the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Do The Math
"Five Awkward Conversations with Paul Motian" by Vinnie Sperrazza. This utterly marvelous piece really gives a sense of what it was like to interact with Paul. Sincere kudos to Sperrazza, his whole blog is great. Kevin Sun has become one of the more active and interesting jazz bloggers. I'm pleased... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at Do The Math
Recently David Adler came over and gave me a Before and After test for JazzTimes. I did okay on it overall, but my biggest gaffe was somehow not recognizing Jason Moran and the Bandwagon playing “Lulu’s Back in Town” from All Rise. My only defense is that after the first... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2014 at Do The Math
The ten essays “The Year of Outrage” in Slate are extremely helpful to understanding our current internet culture. We’ve had a few jazz pile-ons recently. By Slate standards they were all small potatoes - at least there’s no “Django Gold” or “Sonny Rollins” on the page or in the calendar... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Do The Math
Prompted by Miles Okazaki and myself, Dan Voss graphs "Acknowledgment" in Schenkerian fashion. Heavy stuff. Also via Twitter, Darcy James Argue pointed the way to a much lesser musical analysis, where Slate "investigates" the mildly complex mixed-meter theme to The Terminator. Frankly I think everyone involved in this essay looks... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Do The Math
I snapped an iPhone quickie between the ropes as Claressa Shields posed with the regulars at Atlas Cops and Kids today. Bottom row (Left to Right): Nyisha "Siyah" Goodluck, Coach Sarah Deming, Little Nick Scaturchio, Claressa "T-Rex" Shields, Chris "BHopp" Colbert Top Row: Tara Ciccone, Mo, Hamza Alhumaidi, Reshat "The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Do The Math
Andrew Durkin has a relevant book out: Decomposition: A Music Manifesto, which "explodes the age-old concept of musical composition as the work of individual genius, arguing instead that in both its composition and reception music is fundamentally a collaborative enterprise that comes into being only through mediation." (Blurb from Amazon... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Do The Math
New DTM page: A Fine Centennial. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at Do The Math
I don't envy jazz critics making their top ten lists. There are so many worthy records seemingly released every week, not to mention competition from the grave. (If anyone just puts down John Coltrane Offering: Live at Temple University and calls it a day I understand.) One to consider, if... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Do The Math
Turkey Day means William Burroughs. There's not too much to be thankful for according to the news from Ferguson. Except, perhaps, that a discussion is at least happening. At one point there would have been no discussion, it would have simply been business as usual. By that standard, some kind... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at Do The Math
(view from inside hotel room) (front of hotel) Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2014 at Do The Math
Just a quick note about some NYC jazz pianists: I recently hung out with Michael Weiss, who has played with everybody, perhaps most impressively so on the Johnny Griffin to Benny Golson to Charles McPherson axis. Michael is at Smalls Friday and Saturday with David Wong and my main man... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at Do The Math