Activate Infinity is the second album from The Bad Plus since the remarkable pianist Orrin Evans joined the group in 2018. The album was recorded at Brooklyn Recording in New York City in May 2019. It was produced by The Bad Plus and engineered and mixed by Andy Taub. Activate Infinity will be released on CD and digital October 25. November 15 will see its release on vinyl. Pre-orders are available now along with a download of the first song, “Avail.”
With their sights set on a new trajectory, combined with an abundance of spirit and creativity, The Bad Plus has produced one of their finest and most original albums to date. This is group music played with vibrant imagination and vigor. It’s real, deeply honest and personal. Their joy in music making together is clear and their vision is committed and democratic. With a new home on the British label, Edition Records, The Bad Plus is working with a renewed intent that will see them grow to new heights and continue to flourish.
The Bad Plus are the ultimate originals — a democratic unit with a clear vision and a refusal to conform to convention. For the past 18 years, they have played with spirit and adventure, made their own rules and done so with a bold sense of creativity and intent. In 2018, they announced a change of line-up that shook the jazz world, bringing pianist Orrin Evans into the group. The result instigated a new wave of excitement and anticipation within the band that re-energizing their sound and inspiration. This is The Bad Plus now and the music is the real deal – it’s honest, personal and deeply imaginative.
Their first album with the new line-up, Never Stop II, was self-released in 2018 and won huge critical acclaim building on the passionate fan base developed over the years. Remaining in control of their own destiny enabled the band to refocus on what they represented, to redefine their trajectory, to grow new roots and confirm their sound whilst remaining true to their original identity. Ultimately Never Stop II kickstarted a new era for the trio in a way they could not have foreseen.
Activate Infinity sees the journey evolve further with the start of their relationship with Edition Records, who together are working with foresight and passion, to allow the band to flourish and grow their own unique perspective, sense of creativity and character without restrictions or inhibitions.
It goes without saying that today’s society is profoundly unbalanced and uncomfortably divided. For The Bad Plus, however, Activate Infinity represents a place of sanity amidst the chaos: the freedom to express and say something personal and with meaning without being restricted or constrained by the powers that be. In this band the three voices act as one, sharing a common purpose and message. This is The Bad Plus in their most creative and expressive form.
With writing credits shared between all members, the music on Activate Infinity is protean yet focused, individually written but collectively produced. These are songs written with the freedom to explore and the titles represent the deep levels of imagination the band has become known for. Reid Anderson’s “Avail” is a vehicle for exuberance; Orrin’s quirky and joyous “The Red Door” explores the space behind the red door, not the door itself; Dave King’s “Thrift Store Jewelry” is inspired by reclaimed treasure. Each has a message that is deeply personal, but universal.
This is The Bad Plus now: a band entering a new era, a period of intense creativity, renewed energy and excitement. As the title suggests, the trio show no sign of slowing down. The pursuit of creativity is on and they are searching for new trajectories. With an abundance of adventure and spirit, their joy of making music together is clear and paramount — it’s their driving force and their ultimate purpose. The idea of a spirited and endless journey will inspire the band and their fans to activate infinity in countless rich and creative ways.
The Bad Plus will continue to tour the globe as they always do. New tour dates begin in South America in October. The first show stateside will be on October in Durham, NC. The last of the year will be in Los Angeles on November 10 before they head for a performance in Poland on November 12, culminating November 30 in Ferrara, Italy.