Best Acoustic Techno of the Year (Bad Plus Interview)

The Bad Plus — the jazz trio best known for its covers of Black Sabbath and Vangelis, not to mention György Ligeti and Igor Stravinsky — is the rare jazz band that functions like a rock band. That’s what I focused on when interviewing Ethan Iverson, the group’s pianist, for a short piece recently. It’s available at The title track of the new Bad Plus album, Never Stop, may be the best electricity-free techno ever (a category that could do with more material). It was composed by the group’s bassist, Reid Anderson. It’s the band’s first album ever with no covers; it’s all originals by the band members (drummer David King, in addition to Iverson and Anderson). The editor gave my interview a great title: “Compose Yourself.”

And here are a few things that didn’t make the printed interview, due to length:

¶ The “Never Stop” song was written for an Isaac Mizrahi fashion show.

¶ Asked if he’d ever tried augmenting his piano electronically (in addition to the band’s interest in Aphex Twin, and the techno-ness of “Never Stop,” Iverson has played with digi-celllist Hank Roberts), Iverson said, “Reid works on electronica every day but I don’t know much about it. I just play the piano.”

¶ There are no current plans for remixes. Said Iverson, “What a nice idea — no plans yet, but you never know.”

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