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Ethan Iverson
pianist in The Bad Plus, blogger at Do The Math
Recent Activity
My overview of the Dean, the Father, the Source, the Big Daddy, "In Search of James P. Johnson," has been refurbished. It's a whole lot cleaner overall, but the major upgrade is my recent transcription of "Carolina Shout" from the first 1921 recording. --- This Thursday, I'll be playing at... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Do The Math
My day with Gunther Schuller in 2010 is in two parts. The Third Stream stuff is what the BBC wanted. However, I'm more proud of the second section, where we listen his orchestral work Contours together. When preparing for the interview, I went through the complete discography of Schuller working... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Do The Math
Adam Brookes Blue Heron This extremely well-done espionage novel is an exciting debut. The short hand crib is: China + internet warfare + John Le Carré. Brookes spent time in China, so it follows that the descriptions of English nationals living there are exceptionally believable. The internal politics within the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at Do The Math
When we were on tour together, Sam Newsome was immersed in White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era by Shelby Steele. I was intrigued, because in my own jazz studies I have found the horror of segregation to have been a kind... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at Do The Math
Ornette Coleman: Gone but forever remembered. The best thing I have ever read about him is still one of the earliest pieces, the interview and overview in A.B. Spellman's Four Lives in the Bebop Business. "Ornette Coleman" can be anagrammed thusly: Tentacle Monroe Create Melt Noon Calmer Tone Note Romance... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Do The Math
New DTM page: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, or, "Take Another Chorus on DB, Josh!" Good review of the album by Nate Chinen in the NY Times. Tour starts tonight. Dates copied from TBP website: June 2015 10 New York, NY -- Highline Ballroom** 11 Albany, NY -- Albany Riverfront... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Do The Math
(from W Skyline Parkway in Duluth; click to enlarge) DTM and my twitter feed is going on a little hiatus; back around June 10, when The Bad Plus Joshua Redman begins a major tour in support of our record on Nonesuch. First hit at the Highline Ballroom; complete tour dates... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at Do The Math
New DTM: Word Association with Ron Carter. I'm currently going to school playing with Ron at Mezzrow. Last night I greatly satisfied my inner fanboy by taking a photo of Ron with Lawrence Block. (Ron is actually a crime fiction fan and was impressed that Larry came out the last... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at Do The Math
RIP Ruth Rendell. In her honor, I re-read the classic A Judgement in Stone. Such a terrific book, with suspense that mounts unbearably in unexpected ways. There's a 2003 interview with Rendell which sheds light on several interesting details about Stone. The discussion of humor is a surprise, for there's... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Do The Math
Happy 70th Birthday Keith Jarrett! I briefly auditioned the "new" release of Jarrett's live traversal of the Samuel Barber Piano Concerto from 1985. Wow! To me this is obviously now the best classical record in his discography. He's really got enough fire and brimstone technique to deliver this neo-romantic concerto... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Do The Math
Two nights ago Sarah and I went to the Met, where we got rather VIP treatment thanks to Jason Haaheim and Rob Knopper, two of the Met Opera Orchestra percussionists. Previously Jason and Rob interviewed me for Met Opera Orchestra blog about TBP playing The Rite of Spring, so it... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Do The Math
Sarah Deming brilliantly reviews the Floyd Mayweather win: "Those of us who wallow daily in boxing’s grime understand that Mayweather does not make art for the masses. " Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Do The Math
New DTM page: Interview with Nicholas Payton. Thanks to Kevin Sun for transcribing the interview. Kevin has been putting serious work into his blog, with transcriptions going up almost daily. At this point A Horizontal Search is really one of the best jazz resources on the internet. Thanks also to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Do The Math
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 Apr 22, 2015 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 Apr 21, 2015 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 Apr 20, 2015 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