The Bad Plus to premiere 2nd commission at Duke

< Back

Wednesday October 15, 2014

From Indy Week

The Bad Plus tackles its second commission and world premiere at Duke
By: Grayson Haver Currin

…this week, they’ll unveil a new commission from Duke Performances—a reinvention of Science Fiction, the 1971 Ornette Coleman LP that was one of the most pivotal and powerful moments of the jazz pioneer’s career.

…During the ’70s sessions for Science Fiction, nothing was verboten. There were beautiful ballads, which Anderson will sing live, and tumultuous ruptures built around spoken-word poetry. The personality of each player—Charlie Haden’s bulbous bass lines, Billy Higgins’ kinetic drumming, Coleman’s leaping and warping horn lines—serve as the music’s core. The way that those distinct strands wrap into one thread makes the material so dense and so ripe for interpretation. It allows The Bad Plus to be The Bad Plus, even while exploring someone else’s music.

For Science Fiction, The Bad Plus will fold three distinct horn players—the saxophonists Sam Newsome and Tim Berne and the trumpeter Ron Miles—into the band. With those players in tow, Iverson hopes to honor the original album’s spirit by giving each musician the chance to put their stamp on the Coleman classic, not to function as mere surrogates for the dead or aged.

“On Science Fiction, those guys just play like themselves. The directive of this music is to be yourself,” says Iverson. “If anyone’s heard The Bad Plus, you’ll know this has our sound to it.”

To read more here