Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Keys are Funny Things

The Bad Plus links to me and I get more pageviews than I did in the first two months of this interblag. When I submitted my answers to the original gentlemen of the Bad Plus, I included an anecdote of my brief conversation I had with Ethan Iversen. I tell it in its entirety:

At the 2005 CMJ Music Marathon I attended a panel will the presumptious title of "The Future of Jazz!" (exclamation point added) Intriguing indeed, but it wasn't just a panel but more like the meeting of the goddamn New Jazz Justice League. Bill Frisell, Chris Potter, and a drummer whose name I can't remember, being led in battle by Ethan Iversen. There were only eight of us in the audience so the panel really just consisted of everyone playing their most recent releases.

It was right before Suspicious Activity? came out, so Ethan introduced his jam by saying that there were no rock covers on the new album, (!) but that they still laid a cover down. "You'll probably recognize it when you hear it." Problems with the jambox. "It's track 9." "Chariots?" A look of dejection. Don't worry, knowing the punchline didn't ruin it.

With the small audience, I felt only a little awkward going up and talking to Ethan afterward. My burning question? Who's idea was it to go major at the end of Iron Man? (If you haven't heard the Bad Plus's "Iron Man", you haven't lived.) Ethan actually seemed hesitant, almost embarassed, to admit that it was his idea and then explained exactly how the modulation worked. Music nerdity straight from the source. I had forgotten it, but was kind enough to repeat the magic incantation.

Thanks, you're not just a good bloginnist and one of the bestest pianists around, but a solid gentleman.

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