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Ethan Iverson
Brooklyn
pianist in The Bad Plus, blogger at Do The Math
Recent Activity
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 2 days ago 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 3 days ago at Do The Math
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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 4 days ago 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 7 days ago 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
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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
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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
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(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
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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
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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
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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