The Bad Plus: On Sacred Ground

April 26, 2011 by Josh Jackson  
Filed under Shows

The Bad Plus: On Sacred GroundThis week, The Checkout dedicates the hour to the recent world premiere by The Bad Plus of “On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring” at Duke Performances. The genre-bending trio features bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer Dave King. Although ostensibly a jazz trio, the group is well-known for their expansive musical palate — incorporating music from Blondie to Babbitt as its points of departure.

For this project, the group arranged Stravinsky’s famously controversial piece, a cornerstone of 20th-century classical repertoire. But rather than take bits and pieces for improvised riffs, the group consciously chose to play the score, arranging the work for piano, bass and drums. The result is a fascinating take that is clearly The Rite, yet also identifiably The Bad Plus.

WBGO’s Josh Jackson interviews Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson, Dave King and music critic Steve Smith. Listen above to the whole show, or click below to hear the piece in its entirety:

Photos by: Darryl Pitt

Recorded March 26, 2011 at Reynolds Theater in Durham, NC.
Ethan Iverson – piano
Reid Anderson – bass
Dave King – drums

Recorded by Luc Suer and Bradford Swanson
Mix by Bradford Swanson
Duke Performances Director: Aaron Greenwald
Thanks to Darryl Pitt and Thurston Briscoe


16 Responses to “The Bad Plus: On Sacred Ground”
  1. Yael says:

    Absolutely breathtaking. The Bad Plus just took the whole universe and made it better.

  2. George Weinberg-Harter says:

    Astonishing! I’ve been listening to Sacre for well over half a century, and they made it all new again for me!

  3. Man… great concert! What an original concept for a classic piece. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Thanks for looking at MusicSprings.

  5. Bruce Hodges says:

    This is fantastic. One of the best classical-to-jazz interpretations I’ve ever heard.

  6. David Vickerman says:

    This is incredible! Any chance it will be available for download ever?

  7. Dylan Howe says:

    Hi – this is very interesting, I wonder if you or the Bad Plus might have heard about this?

    Dylan Howe / Will Butterworth Duo: Stravinsky

    Recorded 2010
    Motorik Recordings


    Best wishes

  8. Darryl Brenzel says:

    Very cool. For those who dig Rite of Spring, I did a 75 minute big band arrangement that was premiered in Baltimore in May of 2010, performed by the Mobtown Modern Big Band. A live recording of the premiere will be released in June/July of this year on Innova Records.
    Darryl Brenzel – arranger/director


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] chronology of the last section of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor,* but I wanted to link to a release of the premiere performance of On Sacred Ground, The Bad Plus’ reworking of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Pianist [...]

  2. [...] The Checkout this week features the entire Rite of Spring by Stravisnky, as arranged and performed by The Bad Plus last month at Duke Performances. According to twitter user ericread, it’s “possibly the [...]

  3. [...] “In late March, The Bad Plus descended upon Duke University to unveil its take on Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. You can now hear a recording of On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at The Checkout. [...]

  4. [...] When the group first started tackling this assignment it started to become clear that not only could they perform the entire piece as an arrangement from the score but they could maintain its dynamic nature while infusing it with their own characteristic style of playing. You can checkout the live recording of the world premier here. [...]

  5. [...] Rounds,” as previously seen here on A Blog Supreme. And The Bad Plus, of course, did the whole thing with a visual backdrop for Duke Performances in [...]

  6. [...] “Spring Rounds,” as formerly seen here on A Blog Supreme. And The Bad Plus, of course, did a whole thing with a visible backdrop for Duke Performances in [...]

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