The Bad Plus release debut album as quartet today; tour dates begin next week

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Friday, September 30, 2022

Groundbreaking jazz group The Bad Plus has announced today’s release of THE BAD PLUS, the band’s 15th studio recording and eponymous debut album in their current iteration as a dynamic new quartet. THE BAD PLUS is available everywhere now via Edition Records.

Twenty-one years after making their landmark debut as a genre-exploding piano-bass-drums trio, The Bad Plus have reinvented themselves once again with founding bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King now joined by guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Chris Speed. THE BAD PLUS sees the always adventurous combo continuing to challenge convention by pushing their inimitable approach to jazz in boundary-breaking new directions. The album has been heralded by such unpredictable tracks as “Not Even Close To Far Off,” “Motivations II,” and “Sun Wall,” along with an exclusive short film chronicling the band’s remarkable renewal, streaming now at YouTube.

“If it comes down to it and you had to put us in a category, we are most certainly part of the jazz canon,” says Dave King. “The new band, all of us come from an improvisational background. We have all played different types of jazz. But the influences, they push out the corners of what people think of as jazz.”

“The medium is the message,” says Reid Anderson. “It’s a doubling down of the core philosophy. It’s about the way Dave and I drive the band and the atmosphere we create, encouraging the collaboration required to make this music.”






Hailed by Jazz Times’ David Fricke in the magazine's current cover story as “one of the most enduring and acclaimed working bands in jazz,” The Bad Plus will celebrate THE BAD PLUS with a globe-spanning live schedule, beginning October 8 at The Armory in Fort Collins, CO and then continuing through a four-night, eight-show homecoming run at Minneapolis, MN’s Dakota Jazz Club on December 25-28. Additional highlights include much anticipated double bills alongside visionary guitarist Julian Lage at Los Angeles, CA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (October 14) and NYC’s Webster Hall (December 2), as well as a number of shows supported by opening solo performances from Medeski Martin & Wood’s Billy Martin. For complete details and ticket availability, please visit

Though the components may have changed, THE BAD PLUS makes clear what remains is the group’s unique musical language and undeniable drive and intent. Of course, The Bad Plus have been at this crossroads before, changing their original lineup in 2017 with pianist Orrin Evans taking the seat previously occupied by founding member Ethan Iverson. Two acclaimed albums followed, but in 2021 the decision was made to reinvent The Bad Plus once again. Rather than simply seeking out a new pianist, Anderson and King took a hard left turn and enlisted a pair of remarkably gifted musicians in guitarist Ben Monder – known for his work both as leader and sideman with David Bowie (BLACKSTAR), Theo Bleckmann, Guillermo Klein, and Paul Motian, to name but a few – and saxophonist Chris Speed, an award-winning leader/co-leader of myriad modern ensembles and longtime musical running buddy of both King and Anderson.

Notwithstanding the new members’ extraordinary pedigrees, the process of developing this latest Bad Plus took hard work and perseverance. A series of intense rehearsals began in the summer of 2021. The quartet pored over new and old compositions by Anderson and King, emerging with a singular group sound that retains all of The Bad Plus’s vaunted adventurousness while simultaneously setting them on a new pathway of genre-agonistic musical exploration. Working with engineer Brett Bullion, the band has fully maximized the sonic and dynamic possibilities of the new lineup, showcasing the virtuosity and musicality of Speed and Monder while maintaining their trademark pursuit of relentless invention and excellence, blazing with the very same attitude that has defined the group for over two decades. Having recontextualized their own chemistry, the new LP not only affirms The Bad Plus’s continuing relevance and longevity, it burns bright on its own terms as an extraordinarily powerful debut from an all-new creative force to be reckoned with.

“The whole point was Reid and I had music ready, to tell the story of this new band,” says Dave King. “We have a large, referential landscape in this band. We let everything in. And here’s that new sound.”

# # #


“In this current configuration, they’ve reinvented themselves as a quartet

but with that same genre-blending sound that we know and love…

The group is now sans piano, which is certainly indicative of the risks they’re willing to take…

They’re giving us so much to work with in the way of sound. You really can’t put them in a box.”


“Unlike anything this former piano-trio institution has played before…THE BAD PLUS runs the gamut of mood and attack from Anderson’s ghostly march ‘Stygian Pools’

to King’s furious nonstop improvising behind the front line in ‘Sick Fire.’”

– JAZZ TIMES (cover story)

“One of the defining bands of 21st-century jazz...Despite the major change in the lineup, the band’s objective of challenging conventions and pushing their unique approach to jazz in boundary-breaking new directions remains unaltered. Their music testifies to their passion, drive, and intent.”


“The Bad Plus have taken an unexpected step and swapped the keys for two other instruments.

That rigorous ensemble sound remains, but the textures are tougher.”

– THE TIMES (****)

"The record evokes the same wonder and mystery elicited from their earlier catalog, retaining their unique harmonic sense and driving rhythms. If anything, Monder’s guitar, and Speeds saxophone

help to further the mixture of rock and jazz for which the group is known."


“The goal was to bring the same kind of energy and inventiveness that propelled The Bad Plus to wide popularity, a punkish attitude that enabled them to rein in a rock and pop audience that stretched beyond just jazz circles. One of the defining characteristics though of the trio sound was a minimalist approach and an affinity for pop-like melodies. King and Anderson have managed to retain those two primary elements…yet it’s heavier and in some ways more exciting… Simply put, the instrumental lineup offers more sonic possibilities.”


“The introduction of guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Chris Speed has presented the adventurous troupe with the ability to challenge conventionality with an updated approach to their beloved sound."


"The new instruments add fresh flavors and not surprisingly, provide more avenues for expression...This is a bright new beginning and well-timed change of direction for that rare rhythm section that can and will lead."


# # #


TOUR 2022


8 – Fort Collins, CO – The Armory

9 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater

11 – Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instrument Museum

12 – San Diego, CA – The Athenaeum

13 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Spanos Theatre at Cal Poly Arts

14 – Los Angeles, CA – Walt Disney Concert Hall *

15 – Oakland, CA – Yoshi’s (7:30 pm)

15 – Oakland, CA – Yoshi’s (9:30 pm)

16 – Oakland, CA – Yoshi’s (7:00 pm)

16 – Oakland, CA – Yoshi’s (9:00 pm)

18 – Seattle, WA – Jazz Alley

19 – Seattle, WA – Jazz Alley

20 – Beaverton, OR – Patricia Reser Center For The Arts


5 – Barcelona, Spain – La Nau

6 – Madrid, Spain – Teatro Pavón

7 – Zürich, Switzerland – Moods

9 – Prague, Czech Republic – Jazz Dock

10 – Gent, Belgium - Handelsbeurs

12 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bimhuis

13 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – LantarenVenster

14 – London, UK – Ronnie Scott’s (5:30 pm)

14 – London, UK – Ronnie Scott’s (9:00 pm)

15 – London, UK – Ronnie Scott’s (5:30 pm)

15 – London, UK – Ronnie Scott’s (9:00 pm)

16 – Warsaw, Poland - Jassmine

17 – Stockholm, Sweden - Fasching

18 – Helsinki, Finland – G Livelab

19 – Budapest, Hungary – Magyar Zene Háza

21 - Çankaya, Turkey – CSO Concerthall

29 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground †

30 – Portland, ME – One Longfellow Square †


1 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center For The Arts †

2 – New York, NY – Webster Hall *

3 – Keene, NH – Showroom @ The Colonial Theatre (5:30 pm)

3 – Keene, NH – Showroom @ The Colonial Theatre (8:00 pm)

6 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark

7 – Bellefontaine, OH – Holland Theater

8 – Cincinnati, OH – Caffè Vivaci (7:00 pm)

8 – Cincinnati, OH – Caffè Vivaci (9:00 pm)

9 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Café

10 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live †

25 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (5:00 pm)

25 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (7:00 pm)

26 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (6:30 pm)

26 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (6:30 pm)

26 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (8:30 pm)

27 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (6:30 pm)

27 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (8:30 pm)

28 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (6:30 pm)

28 – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club (8:30 pm)

* w/Julian Lage Trio

† w/Special Guest Billy Martin (Solo)