In its 15th fruitful year, fusion jazz trio the Bad Plus’ annual holiday series at the Dakota shows no sign of letting up. From Dec. 25-28, the innovative ensemble will knock out a whopping eight performances in four nights.
Currently based in New York City, the Midwest natives originally planted their roots in Minneapolis circa 2000. Bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King united to form a uniquely leaderless team, releasing their first album after only three live performances together. Striving for true collaboration, each member contributes equally from composition to performance to production.
Since their inception, the Bad Plus now have 12 albums under their belt, each born of jazz with a twist. Their signature genre-defying sound has resulted in offbeat covers of Nirvana, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, and other unexpected music. Their latest studio release Inevitable Western contains purely original compositions, combining influences from pop, blues, and folk. Hoping to stray from highbrow avant-gardism, their style strives for audience accessibility through what they deem “intelligent music for the masses.”
The trio will head straight from their Dakota shows to venerable New York jazz club the Village Vanguard, where they’ll play their annual New Year’s Eve show as part of a stand running from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4. King will then return to Minneapolis for a highly-anticipated reunion gig by the revered local band 12 Rods.
The Bad Plus’ holiday performances at the Dakota begin at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Tickets available for $40 here.
Selena Carlson is currently tackling a double major in journalism and music business at Augsburg College. In addition to writing, she is an avid enthusiast of all things banjo; biking; and breakfast for dinner.