Saturday, May 14, 2011

School Work, 1993

When The Bad Plus' recording These Are The Vistas was released in 2003, the trio was hailed as the new future of jazz, what with their unique recording techniques (lots of sustain and their overall cavernous sound) and choice of repertoir (modern rock music covers). But a decade earlier the pianist Ethan Iverson recorded his debut recording and it featured tenor giant Dewey Redman. It could not have been further from the trio session that was to be recorded a decade later. Here is David Adler's thumbnail sketch of the pianist:

Jazz pianist Ethan Iverson's classically informed writing and playing rivals that of the far more famous Brad Mehldau. Claiming influences as disparate as Stravinsky and Ornette Coleman, the Wisconsin-raised Iverson has displayed great potential at a rather young age. In 1991, he relocated to New York, eventually beginning private studies with Fred Hersch and Sofia Rosoff. He made his recording debut in 1993 at age 20 with School Work, a disc which featured tenor saxophone giant Dewey Redman. Iverson has since worked extensively with Reid Anderson, Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, and Patrick Zimmerli, among others. In addition, he has served as musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group, and in that capacity has performed with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Yo Yo Ma. In 1998, Iverson's trio released Construction Zone (Originals) and Deconstruction Zone (Standards) in tandem, with the latter being hailed by a New York Times critic as a top-ten pick for that year. A 1999 follow-up, The Minor Passions, featured the famous drummer Billy Hart and was similarly hailed by the Times.


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