Iverson, Anderson and King first played together in 1989 but established The Bad Plus in 2000. The band recorded their first album, a self-titled effort released on Fresh Sound, after playing only three gigs together. A live performance at the Village Vanguard was heard by Columbia Recordsrepresentative Yves Beauvais, and the band was signed to Columbia in 2002. Their major label debut album, These Are the Vistas, was released in 2003. This was followed by Give in 2004 and Suspicious Activity? in 2005. After parting ways with Columbia, the group signed to Heads Up Records (a division of Telarc), and released the album Prog in 2007. In early Spring of 2008 they finished recording their next studio album, For All I Care, which features vocalist Wendy Lewis. It was released in autumn 2008 in Europe and in spring 2009 in the US. In July 2010, The Bad Plus announced their latest album, Never Stop. This was released on September 14, 2010.
Anderson and King are originally from Minnesota, and Iverson is from neighboring Wisconsin.
King is also part of the Minnesota-based groups Love-Cars; Halloween, Alaska; and Happy Apple. However, he has said that he is only in three working bands because Halloween, Alaska is more of a studio band.