The Bad Plus Reformulates

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Wednesday August 18, 2021


The Bad Plus Reformulates Again, Now as a Quartet with Ben Monder and Chris Speed
By: Nate Chinen

Four years ago, The Bad Plus made the startling announcement that its charter pianist, Ethan Iverson, had left the band, and that his replacement would be Orrin Evans.

WBGO was the first to report that story, which also yielded a 2018 episode of Jazz Night in America focused on Evans’ express-lane acclimation to the language and rigors of the band. Evans made two well-regarded albums with The Bad Plus: Never Stop II, released in 2018, and Activate Infinity, which arrived the following year.

As announced on social media this spring, he has decided not to continue with the band. Instead, the third iteration of The Bad Plus will feature its foundational duo, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King, along with Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and Ben Monder on electric guitar. Their first rehearsals will take place in Brooklyn next week, and they’ll record a new album at the end of next month…

…King: “With all humility, we’re excited how this is going to sound. We’re hoping everybody comes with this ride that just continues to grow. And this is the time, I think, to just be able to say unapologetically, that we’re not reinventing the band anymore. This is the way it is. These guys are showing up, and they’re going to show up and throw down, and this is what The Bad Plus is now.”

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