Jazz trio Bad Plus makes final Philly area performance with Ethan Iverson

The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus COURTESY PHOTO

IF YOU GO

What: The Bad Plus, with opener Square Peg Round Hole.

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 1.

Where: Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.

Tickets: $29 in advance, $35 at the door, $40 for reserved seating.

Info.: (610) 649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com.

Ars Nova Workshop and Ardmore Music Hall’s contemporary jazz mini-series includes a Sunday night show by The Bad Plus.

Over the past 17 years, the irreverent power trio came to be known for their creativity, flair for live performance and unexpected reinventions of songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Iron Man,” “Comfortably Numb” and Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire” theme.

“There’s anecdotal evidence that we’ve been the gateway to jazz for (people) ... they thought they didn’t like jazz,” said bassist Reid Anderson.

The Bad Plus’ recordings sometimes sound as if the group is violently coming unglued while rambling in their own separate directions, and about to dissolve into complete chaos. But that’s exactly the moment when the ensemble reunites with authority. “Everything we play, we know deeply,” Anderson said of the secret behind pulling that off.

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After maintaining the same lineup for more than a decade and a half, cofounding pianist Ethan Iverson is departing The Bad Plus following this year’s tour dates. “After 17 years, he wants to do other things,” Anderson commented in a phone conversation on his way to the Philadelphia home of Orrin Evans. Evans will take over Iverson’s piano/co-composer role in The Bad Plus.

“Dave (drummer Dave King) and I are committed to the band and the idea of group music,” he added. “(Evans has) the same approach and philosophy ... and attitude towards the music.”

When asked what their last concert in this area with the original lineup on Oct. 1 would be like, Anderson shared that their sets are always decided upon at the last minute.

Although The Bad Plus hail from the Midwest, Anderson studied at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. “Even though it was not my thing to play classical music, it became a big part of my musical world and the way I would play,” he said.