It's been ten years since The Bad Plus has been breaking barrier between musical genres. It's a piano (Ethan Iverson), bass (Reid Anderson) and drums (David King) combo, which screams jazz trio until you hear them playing music that steps over, and thoroughly tramples, all arbitrary boundaries. And hear them we did last Saturday night at Herbst, in a show hosted by SF Performances.
This is a band that has covered Nirvana's Smells like teen spirit on their debut album, and also songs by Blondie, Rush, David Bowie. But if they don't find the music of somebody else to spark their hard driving sound, they'll just write it themselves as on their latest release, Never Stop, which is exclusively originals. And Saturday, except for the über-standard Have you met Miss Jones in a distorted, rhythmically elastic encore, they only played their own stuff.
At the keys: Ethan Iverson. He was last seen here in SF for Alex Ross's lecture, playing the sounds of the classical music of the 20th century. An incredible jazz erudite, Iverson writes an essential blog, Do The Math were he puts up definitive interviews (check Keith Jarrett's here) and essays. So rather than write up the concert, we'll give him the mike to answer our questions.