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Welcome to Songs for Listening, a curated site for daily playlists from musicians, agents, managers, writers, scholars, and programmers.

04-19-19 | Songs for Listening | Ethan Iverson

04-19-19 | Songs for Listening | Ethan Iverson

Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson picked tunes for Friday, April 19 at Songs for Listening. Ethan was a founding member of The Bad Plus, a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and Dave King. The New York Times called TBP “…Better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60’s jazz and indie rock.” During his 17-year tenure TBP performed in venues as diverse as the Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, and Bonnaroo; collaborated with Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, and the Mark Morris Dance Group; and created a faithful arrangement of Stravinky’s 'The Rite of Spring' and a radical reinvention of Ornette Coleman’s 'Science Fiction'.

Iverson also has been in the critically-acclaimed Billy Hart quartet for well over a decade and occasionally performs with an elder statesman like Albert 'Tootie' Heath or Ron Carter. For over 15 years Iverson’s website Do the Math has been a repository of musician-to-musician interviews and analysis.

In 2017, Iverson premiered the score 'Pepperland' for the Mark Morris Dance Group and co-curated a major centennial celebration of Thelonious Monk. In Spring 2018, Iverson premiered 'Concerto to Scale' with the American Composers Orchestra and in Fall 2018 released 'Temporary Kings', a duo album with Mark Turner.

Here's Ethan's picks, with his annotations:
'Song for my Father' by Horace Silver
"The hit by Horace Silver with amazing Joe Henderson solo"

'Softly, As A Morning Sunrise' by Larry Young
"Joe Henderson again with young genius Woody Shaw and the extraordinary Elvin Jones"

'Stella By Starlight' by Joe Henderson
"Joe Henderson (again!!) with Ron Carter and Al Foster at the Village Vanguard. A bonus track from 'State of the Tenor' that i/m/o is better than the official tracks"

'The Fast' by Tom Harrell
'Harrell’s latest album 'Infinity' is really good in a way most modern jazz isn’t. The real deal. Opening track is a burner."

'Summertime' by Duke Ellington 
"A provocative trio performance from 1961 has all three members of the big band rhythm section (with Aaron Bell and Sam Woodyard) playing in an abstract way. Perhaps a commentary on the civil rights era? Gershwin was Ellington’s big competitor and here Duke takes GG apart!"

‘Song For My Father’ by Horace Silver from ‘Songs for My Father’
’Softly, As A Morning Sunrise’ by Larry Young from ‘Unity’
’Stella By Starlight’ by Joe Henderson from ‘The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard’
’The Fast’ by Tom Harrell from ‘Infinity’
’Summertime’ by Duke Ellington from ‘Piano In the Foreground’


04-23-19 | Songs for Listening | Alec Hanley Bemis

04-23-19 | Songs for Listening | Alec Hanley Bemis

04-18-19 | Songs for Listening | Mokoomba

04-18-19 | Songs for Listening | Mokoomba