Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music: The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus has been together for ten years. Their show at Jazz Alley last night drew entirely from Never Stop, their new album celebrating that anniversary. As always, it was a sensational performance. The trio played one of my favorites, “Bill Hickman at Home,” a salute to the stunt driver of Bullitt and The French Connection, and Reid Anderson’s heartbreaking “People Like You.” Drummer Dave King truly got to shine, using his box of toys to full effect. They’re at Jazz Alley again tonight, with upcoming dates in Chicago, Minneapolis and New York. Go, go, go.

After the show, Rosemarie and I spent some time chatting with pianist and crime fiction connoisseur Ethan Iverson. Talk turned to ‘70s era detective shows and we mentioned Columbo, season one of Mannix, and the short-lived Ellery Queen. (We’ve been making our way through the recent DVD release; expect a post when we’re done.) At his blog Do The Math, Ethan details his recent reading.

Of course, this post is simply an excuse to link to Ethan’s astonishing overview of Donald E. Westlake’s career, now back on the web and somehow expanded. As it happens, Ethan’s classic rendering of the opening of The Da Vinci Code in the style of one of Westlake’s Richard Stark novels is today’s guest post at The Violent World of Parker.

All the TV shows mentioned above were created by the team of William Link and Richard Levinson. In another nice bit of serendipity, today is William Link’s 77th birthday. Mr. Link is still going strong; we recently had the pleasure of hearing him speak at Bouchercon. Extend your birthday greetings at The Rap Sheet.

And one final link to a piece on a subject that is also near and dear to my heart: Ethan’s wife Sarah Deming on cocktails bars that go too far. Who doesn’t serve Amaretto sours?