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The Bad Plus Featured on The New York Times Playlist

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Friday October 25, 2019

From The New York Times

The Playlist: Frank Ocean’s Pillow Talk, and 12 More New Songs
By: JON PARELES, JON CARAMANICA, CARYN GANZ AND GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“Orrin Evans has a long personal history with Reid Anderson, the Bad Plus’s bassist, but it is his rapport with the drummer Dave King ‘” and King’s hyper, trouncing style ‘” that gives the new iteration of this trio its activation energy. All told, there’s a fresh ease and joy to the Bad Plus’s sound now that Evans has settled into the piano chair, which was held for over 15 years by Ethan Iverson. It is clear that Evans has been studying the group’s past repertoire, as he plays a role not altogether different from Iverson’s: He’s sentimental but with restraint, and rarely fills out his chords with a lot of jazz dissonance. But there’s plenty of difference between them. With Evans, the band’s humor is no longer hitched to a Wagnerian, Britteneque severity. (Iverson is a pianist of many gifts, it should be noted, and he made some watershed albums with the Bad Plus, particularly in the early 2000s. He continues to do interesting work on his own, as a pianist and composer venturing between jazz and classical.)

‘Dovetail Nicely,’ a King composition, sits near the center of the group’s new LP, ‘Activate Infinity,’ its second studio album with Evans and its 14th overall. If the album’s title is a deprecatingly self-aggrandizing reference to the trio’s own stubborn persistence, then bring it on. They ought to stick around as long as they like.”

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