Legendary jazz combo The Bad Plus share their new song “Not Even Close to Far Off,” available now via Edition Records at all DSPs and streaming services. A nearly six-minute journey, “Not Even Close to Far Off” opens with one of the album’s most melodic themes that slowly modulates, creating growing tension underscored by saxophonist Chris Speed’s improvisational explorations before fading into an insistent rhythmic trance. The song is the latest from The Bad Plus’ upcoming self-titled album arriving everywhere on Friday, September 30. The new album is the group’s 15th studio recording and eponymous debut album featuring the band’s new quartet lineup. A five-minute film about the making of the album is streaming now.
wenty-one years after making their landmark debut as a genre-exploding piano-bass-drums trio, The Bad Plus have reinvented themselves once again with the addition of guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Speed. THE BAD PLUS sees the always adventurous group continuing to challenge convention by pushing their inimitable approach to jazz in boundary-breaking new directions. The album was announced earlier in the year with the sharing of “Motivations II,” and the explosive “Sun Wall.”
The Bad Plus will continue to celebrate its remarkable reinvention with its globe-spanning live schedule continuing with headline tours and festival performances in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, and beyond. Highlights include a six-night run at New York City’s world-famous Blue Note Jazz Club (July 19-24) as well as much anticipated double bills alongside visionary guitarist Julian Lage at Los Angeles, CA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (October 14) and NYC’s Webster Hall (December 1). Additional dates will be announced soon. For updates and remaining ticket availability, please visit www.thebadplus.com/tour.
Though the components may have changed, THE BAD PLUS makes clear what remains is the group’s unique musical language and undeniable drive and intent. Of course, The Bad Plus have been at this crossroads before, changing their original lineup in 2017 with pianist Orrin Evans taking the seat previously occupied by founding member Ethan Iverson. Two acclaimed albums followed, but in 2021 the decision was made to reinvent The Bad Plus once again. Rather than simply seeking out a new pianist, Anderson and King took a hard left turn and enlisted a pair of remarkably gifted musicians in guitarist Ben Monder – known for his work both as leader and sideman with David Bowie (BLACKSTAR), Theo Bleckmann, Guillermo Klein, and Paul Motian, to name but a few – and saxophonist Chris Speed, an award-winning leader/co-leader of myriad modern ensembles and longtime musical running buddy of both King and Anderson.
Notwithstanding the new members’ extraordinary pedigrees, the process of developing this latest Bad Plus took hard work and perseverance. A series of intense rehearsals began in the summer of 2021. The quartet pored over new and old compositions by Anderson and King, emerging with a singular group sound that retains all of The Bad Plus’s vaunted adventurousness while simultaneously setting them on a new pathway of genre-agonistic musical exploration. Working with engineer Brett Bullion, the band has fully maximized the sonic and dynamic possibilities of the new lineup, showcasing the virtuosity and musicality of Speed and Monder while maintaining their trademark pursuit of relentless invention and excellence, blazing with the very same attitude that has defined the group for over two decades. Having recontextualized their own chemistry, the new LP not only affirms The Bad Plus’s continuing relevance and longevity, it burns bright on its own terms as an extraordinarily powerful debut from an all-new creative force to be reckoned with.
“We feel like we’ve pulled off a magic trick,” Dave King says, “changing the lineup from a trio to a quartet with guitar and saxophone that still sounds coherent as The Bad Plus. Having two main composers was our greatest card to play. Our language remains, and that’s the magic.”
THE BAD PLUS – TOUR 2022
Sep 23: Monterey, CA @ Monterey Jazz Festival
Oct 08: Fort Collins, CO @ The Armory
Oct 09: Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Oct 11: Phoenix, AZ @ MIM
Oct 12: San Diego, CA @ Auditorium – Athenaeum Jazz Series
Oct 13: San Luis Obispo, CA @ Cal Poly – Spanos
Oct 14: Los Angeles, CA @ Disney Hall^
Oct 15: Oakland, CA @ Yoshi’s
Oct 16: Oakland, CA @ Yoshi’s
Oct 18: Seattle, WA @ Jazz Alley
Oct 19: Seattle, WA @ Jazz Alley
Oct 20: Beaverton, OR @ Reser Center
Nov 05: Barcelona, ES @ La Nau
Nov 06: Madrid, ES @ Auditorio Colegio de Medicos
Nov 07: Zürich, CH @ Moods
Nov 09: Prague, CZ @ Jazz Dock
Nov 10: Gent, B @ Handelsbeurs
Nov 12: Amsterdam, NL @ Bimhuis
Nov 13: Rotterdam, NL @ LantarenVenster
Nov 14: London, UK @ Ronnie Scott’s
Nov 15: London, UK @ Ronnie Scott’s
Nov 16: Warsaw, PL @ Jassmine
Nov 17: Stockholm, SWE @ Fasching
Nov 18: Helsinki, FI @ G Livelab
Nov 19: Budapest, HU @ House of Hungarian Music
^with Julian Lage