The Bad Plus
Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction

The Bad Plus

Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction


Once again, Duke Performances engaged the forward-leaning jazz trio The Bad Plus — composed of Reid Anderson, bass; Ethan Iverson, piano; and Dave King, drums — to make a daring evening-length project. In 2011, Duke Performances commissioned The Bad Plus’ On Sacred Ground, a bold new interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. In 2014, the trio — “about as badass as highbrow gets” (Rolling Stone) — turned its sights to Ornette Coleman’s landmark 1972 recording Science Fiction, following its 40th anniversary.

“Overflowing with brilliance” (AllMusic), Coleman’s Science Fiction is distinguished by its inventive combination of melodic beauty and avant-garde openness, enhanced by overdubs, vocals, and a sonic production unlike any other jazz recording in existence. The album is, for the Bad Plus, “the apotheosis of freedom and precision in improvised music.” At Baldwin Auditorium, they paid homage by boldly interpreting Science Fiction song-for-song, front-to-back, with help from an esteemed horn section of fine improvisers including Ron Miles, trumpet; Tim Berne, alto saxophone; and Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone.

“With the most distinctive sound of any three-piece outfit since Nirvana, The Bad Plus … demonstrate vitality few bands — rock, jazz, or whatever — can match.”



  • The New York Times, The Bad Plus Plays Ornette Coleman
  • INDY Week, The Bad Plus tackles its second commission and world premiere at Duke
  • INDY Week, Live: The Bad Plus and Science Fiction
  • CVNC, The Bad Plus Play Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction in World Premiere at Duke