The Bad Plus Trio: Using Social Media To Propel Jazz Forward

The Bad Plus combines a blur of Jazz, Rock, and Classical influences and then throws in a couple extra sharps and minor chords for good measure. Their music, to an outsider, could be described as noise with no direction. But, like sushi it takes consistent trials and a willingness to immerse yourself head first into their tantalizing tracks. After all, Jazz is an incredibly involved music genera. For a Jazz group The Bad Plus is one of the more social media driven groups I’ve come across. While they are not at the level of a major label Top 40 group, they do more then your typical Jazz band.

One look at The Bad Plus and you wonder, “How the hell did this combination of guys meet?” One listen and you know they were destined to be together. Aside from my personal musical bias, The Bad Plus does a formidable job of social networking considering they are a jazz group. The combination of a Website, Myspace, Facebook, and Blog helps relay their message and creates an important communication channel with their fan base. Of course they’re on Pandora, Last.FM, and ITunes, but from an interaction standpoint they have all of their bases covered.

The main take-away from The Bad Plus Trio’s social media presence, and main differentiator, is the Do The Math Blog. Since September of 2005, well before the blogging craze, The Bad Plus has promoted shows, exhibited video, and most of importantly celebrated music regardless of style. Their blog content is as dynamic as their music. Posts such as The Best Rock Guitar solos, Contemporary Classical Music for the Traditional Venue, and The Death Star in our Daily Life showcases their versatility.

I would say that The Bad Plus should follow the path the Hip-Hop community uses with social media, but as a Jazz group the impact of their efforts is limited. As The Bad Plus continues to grow as a group, their most recent album For All I Care includes a vocalist, they have the opportunity to enhance their overall brand. Through the use of a self monitored YouTube channel, implementation of Event listings, and creation of a social media community The Bad Plus would be the baddest Jazz group on the planet.

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