THE BAD PLUS - SCIENCE FICTION feat. Ron Miles, Tim Berne, Sam Newsome

3400 Ft | in advanced booking: 2900 Ft (the first 100 tickets)
The Bad Plus has been widely heralded for their innovative re-workings of rock, indierock, electronica, and modernist classical music. The group recently tackled Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in the multi-media production ON SACRED GROUND (cocommissioned by Duke Performances and Lincoln Center), and in the wake of fruitful collaborations with Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, and Mark Morris, The Bad Plus now turn to a jazz classic with Science Fiction to honor the great master of jazz avantgarde. No strangers to the music of Ornette Coleman, the band had the opportunity to perform selections from Science Fiction at the Walker Arts Center with Coleman himself in the audience. Coleman praised their ability to interpret his own music and artistic philosophy with the signature Bad Plus style, calling it “The performance I enjoyed most…they all sounded like individuals in the way they expressed it for themselves.”
Ornette Coleman’s 1972 album Science Fiction is widely considered a landmark recording—and especially so for the members of The Bad Plus. Coleman’s singular combination of melodic beauty and avant-garde openness is enhanced by overdubs, vocals and a sonic production unlike any other jazz recording in existence. Science Fiction boldly insists on new spectrums of music that are possible.

Science Fiction was the last record of Coleman’s with his peers for the remainder of the decade. Foreshadowed by the Science Fiction song “Rock the Clock”, his next musical foray was with his group Prime Time which featured electric guitars, electric basses and drummers delivering dance beats.

There have been many attempts at reinterpreting the classic acoustic music of Ornette Coleman. One extreme is the approach taken by John Zorn on Spy vs. Spy – loud, aggressive, punk. Another was recently embodied by a concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center where a big band read complicated arrangements of the tunes over a rhythm section emulating the style (but not the spirit) of Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins.

As long as Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and David King have been making music together, Science Fiction has been one of their touchstone records. One afternoon at a radio promo when King suggested The Bad Plus play “Street Woman”, the band didn’t hesitate to rehearse or discuss interpretation. No emulation of style was possible. Instead, the music simply fell out of the trio with complete naturalness. Coleman’s compositions are too beautiful not to be treated with devoted respect. However, the last thing Coleman himself would want is a simple simulacrum of his style. (As a bandleader, Coleman has never hired musicians that imitate his early collaborators.) Science Fiction in particular boldly insists that any kind of music is possible. It is up to the interpreter to play themselves through Coleman’s melodies.

Since the original album features a substantial horn presence, The Bad Plus is teaming up with an additional trio of accomplished musicians from three generations of jazz. Saxophonist Tim Berne is an elder who was a crucial early influence of The Bad Plus, saxophonist Sam Newsome is a peer renowned for both his solo concerts and recordings throughout a very unique career, and trumpeter Ron Miles has had a prodigious career as a bandleader and collaborator with the likes of Bill Frisell.

A genuinely leaderless trio, The Bad Plus is equal in every respect, from composition to performance to production. The interplay between these collaborators has marked the group’s work from the jump, infusing it with carefully considered spontaneity, subtlety, style, and depth.

Reid Anderson – bass
Ethan Iverson – piano
Dave King – drums
Tim Berne – saxophones
Sam Newsome – soprano sax
Ron Miles – trtrumpet, cornet
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