By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
In past interviews I've heard Dave King say you all bring something different to the group. Have you established what your superpower is?
We all sort of know where we stand in terms of what we bring to the group. I think that's one of our strengths, too. We're very different people, and we are very different kinds of musicians. We're interested in diverse things, and some of those things don't have a crossover, even. But there's a playing field where we meet at where we understand each other and where we respect each other, so I think that's one of the strengths of the band, the fact that we're three composers. We have three distinctive voices as composers. It all takes on the sound of a band when we play together.
What's coming up for you guys moving forward?
Moving forward we've been performing The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and doing our own concert version of it involving certain video and lighting elements. But we're going to be performing that with the great Mark Morris Dance Group, so he's going to be choreographing that, and that's going to be really exciting. We did tour last summer with the great saxophone player Joshua Redman as our special guest and, who knows, maybe we'll do some more concerts with him. Oh, and in fact we're going to do some concerts in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Bill Frisell.
Are you guys sort of done doing the covers, or is that something that you still enjoy doing? Or is it annoying talking about it?
We have been phasing them out. We did enjoy playing them, and maybe we will again at some point. Frankly, the three of us are composers first and foremost, and the press has kind of just really jumped on the angle of the covers too much for our taste. It's not really what we're about — we're an original-music band first and foremost and always have been. So, yeah, the covers aren't really a part of what we're doing these days.
So what can people expect at your shows this week?
They can expect to see the Bad Plus playing our music and putting on the best show we can. We feel at home there now; people come out to see us year after year. And if people haven't come out to see us, they can check it out. Be part of the tradition.