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Ethan Iverson

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  • Born: Menomonie, WI
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Jazz pianist Ethan Iverson's classically informed writing and playing have similarities to Brad Mehldau. Claiming influences as disparate as Stravinsky and Ornette Coleman, the Wisconsin-raised Iverson displayed great potential at a rather young age. In 1991, he relocated to New York, eventually beginning private studies with Fred Hersch and Sophia Rosoff. He made his recording debut in 1993 at age 20 with School Work, a disc that 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. After the turn of the millennium, Iverson achieved perhaps his greatest visibility as a member of the Bad Plus, also featuring bassist Anderson and drummer Dave King. In 2013, Iverson collaborated with Albert "Tootie" Heath and Ben Street on Tootie's Tempo and with Lee Konitz, Larry Grenadier, and Jorge Rossy on Costumes Are Mandatory.

eMusic Features


Interview: Ethan Iverson

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Ethan Iverson is a polymath: a jazz pianist equally comfortable playing Cole Porter's "Night and Day" at a cozy club like Smalls and knocking out Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" on a theater stage with the Bad Plus, the hugely influential trio he co-leads with drummer Dave King and bassist Reid Anderson. These days, they mostly play original music, although lately they've been playing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring on the road. Their new album Made Possible… more »


House Party Starting: Playing Herbie Nichols

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Ask a jazz fan about Herbie Nichols, and the reaction is likely to be either, "He's a genius," or "Who?" The pianist and composer is the paradigm of a genius neglected in his own time. Nichols's classic mid-'50s sides for Blue Note were all but forgotten when he passed at 44 in 1963. A.B. Spellman memorialized him with a chapter in 1966's Four Lives in the Be-Bop Business, but he didn't get much respect till… more »