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Ethan Iverson
pianist in The Bad Plus, blogger at Do The Math
Recent Activity
Just back from the dance. Wonderful as always, I especially enjoyed the mysterious new piece Whelm set to Debussy. TBP plays Rite of Spring for Mark Morris's Spring, Spring, Spring performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Brooklyn Academy of Music tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday matinee. The other... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Do The Math
A new e-magazine for crime fiction fans is now live: The Life Sentence. I have contributed a long essay on one of my very favorite living thriller writers, "The Professional (Thomas Perry 101)." It starts out as a review of the latest, A String of Beads, before extending into an... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Do The Math
Bill McHenry was the first one to play me this solo years ago. It was a blindfold test, and I hadn't heard much Warne Marsh yet, so I guessed "George Garzone." That's a stupid guess, but there can be something rather post-Coltrane (and therefore Garzone-esque) about later Marsh, simply in... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Do The Math
In the wake of my humorous "solution" to the key of "Bye-Ya," Twitter kept going with a certain amount of debate about whether "Bye-Ya" is in A-flat or E-Flat. I admire the Monk Fake Book edited by Steve Cardenas and Don Sickler very much. There's still no substitute for going... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2015 at Do The Math
...sign up for Floyd Camembert Reports for info about gigs and workshops. Next edition will include true story of my first time working for Mark Morris. (Warning: contains male nudity.) Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Do The Math
I've kept thumbing through Barry Malzberg's Breakfast in the Ruins since yesterday's post. One of the most impressive essays is about a book that has since vanished, A Gypsy Good Time by Gustav Hasford. Hasford was a Vietnam vet who wrote the story Full Metal Jacket was based on, but... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Do The Math
Many of the most interesting musical tweets come from Miles Okazaki. Today he hit this one: After You've Gone, Remember, Just Friends, Stardust...(start 04/04 with IV) This means on April 4, you should play tunes that begin on the four chord, the subdominant change. Jacob Garchik then suggested a whole... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at Do The Math
Lawrence Block has just collected his non-fiction writings about his milieu in a hefty anthology, The Crimes of Our Lives. As any DTM reader might guess, this is a soft lob. I adore crime fiction to the extent that I'm kind of an amateur historian; Block is one of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2015 at Do The Math
Although I am not personally involved in any of the following, this is my studio, and know they will all be great events. “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... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Do The Math
These are the Bond covers I grew up with in the '80s. Ian Fleming's work can be underrated by those passionate about other escapist espionage fiction. I subtly make that point in the blindfold test with Lawrence Block. Not that they are literary masterpieces, of course. But the books are... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Do The Math
The latest Floyd Camembert Reports just went out, including notes on upcoming gigs with John Raymond and Seamus Blake/Chris Cheek. There's also a bit about Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and my own tale of working with Scientologists in the early '90s. I got a personal letter from Chick Corea.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Do The Math
Yesterday I blogged about Skinner by Charlie Huston. In the very first chapter, Huston references Eric Ambler, which informs the reader that this is going to be a thriller with a political theme. It's a nice touch. (DTM: Come Out of the Darkness Into the Light of Day.) I've now... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Do The Math
I’ve just reread Skinner by Charlie Huston. It remains one of my favorite thrillers of recent years. Although the book ends up being a powerful warning about the current condition, along the way the reader enjoys varied vicarious thrills including much current technology: drone quadcopters, plastic guns manufactured by 3D... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at Do The Math
At the masterclass with Ron Carter yesterday in Hartford, I mentioned the Sviatoslav Richter centennial, saying something the effect that Richter may have been the greatest 20th-century classical pianist. Ron interrupted me right away: "Yeah, but don't forget Walter Gieseking." Fair enough. There are lots of wonderful classical pianists. Comparing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2015 at Do The Math
So much going on...I meant to include these last night on DTM. --- Donna Lewis, major pop star and singer/songwriter, has a new album out Brand New Day with Reid, Dave and me. It's produced by David Torn, who also wrote the arrangements, which is why we aren't calling ourselves... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Do The Math
My god, what are those first three guitar chords at the top of "I Only Have Eyes For You" by The Flamingos? That's so my kind of music. --- Jaleel Shaw has stepped up his game further with a long and exceptionally valuable post, "Black History, Black Culture, Black Audiences,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Do The Math
RIP Lew Soloff. One of my first CDs ever was Speak Low, a (currently rather rare) straight-ahead set with Kenny Kirkland, Richard Davis, and Elvin Jones. Clips of this quintessentially late-'80s date can still be heard on the late trumpeter's website. --- Happy 85 years to Ornette Coleman. A few... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Do The Math
It's hard to get everything right in a big DTM post. I need an intern to double-check facts and figures! Anyway, if you only saw "The Drum Thing" in the first 30 minutes, it's been since updated slightly thanks to minor corrections by Jason Gutharz, Miles Okazaki, Darcy James Argue,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Do The Math
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 Mar 2, 2015 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 Feb 24, 2015 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