For the past 10 years The Bad Plus have created an uncompromising body of work by shattering musical convention. Rolling Stone called their amalgam of jazz, pop, rock and avant garde "about as badass as highbrow gets," while The New York Times said the band is "better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-'60s jazz and indie rock." Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have generated as much controversy while audaciously bucking musical trends.
While the bulk of their output has been originals, they have famously deconstructed covers in the pop, rock, electronic and classical idioms. Their belief in a band ethos and "avant-garde populism" has placed them at the forefront of a new instrumental music movement, resulting in ever-growing audiences throughout the world.
The threesome has been exchanging musical ideas since their teenage years. In the late '80s, Anderson and King were two Minnesota high schoolers playing in fledgling rock bands and digging records by Coltrane and The Police. Anderson met Iverson in 1989. All three played together on one occasion a year later before going their separate ways for ten years.
They reconvened for a gig in Minneapolis in 2000. Sparks flew, studio sessions for an indie release ensued, and suddenly The New York Times called their maiden voyage one of the best releases of 2001. The band signed with Columbia, where they released These Are the Vistas in 2003, followed quickly by Give and then Suspicious Activity? In 2007 they released Prog, an album which balanced originals with covers of Bowie, Bacharach, Tears for Fears and Rush. For All I Care, an intriguing juxtaposition of rock and classical sensibilities followed in 2009. The band's most recent album, NEVER STOP, is their first which consists entirely of original compositions. Released in the fall of 2010, New York Magazine stated, "Their latest celebrates a decade on the road and makes it easy to see them for what they've always been: musicians blessed with an alchemist's blend of earnestness and wit, especially during their live shows.