Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Mauch Chunk

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Any concerns that a personnel change would affect the mercurial disposition of the “terrorist bebop band" known as Mostly Other People Do the Killing have been confirmed as unfounded by Mauch Chunk, the wily ensemble's eighth studio recording for Hot Cup Records. Trumpeter Peter Evans, an original member since the core quartet's founding in 2003, left after the release of last year's Blue--a perplexingly pointless note-for-note remake of Miles Davis' iconic Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). Evans' ostensible replacement, pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Mauch Chunk

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the bad boys of jazz, don't quite turn in a straight ahead hard bop album with Mauch Chunk, but it's as close as they are likely to get. The new quartet has pianist Ron Stabinsky in place of longtime trumpeter Peter Evans--which seems to ground the group sound--and there's less obvious classic jazz deconstruction and quotation than normal. Saxophonist Jon Irabagon stays on alto for the entire session, something he has not done in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Mauch Chunk

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If ever a jazz group defied labeling, it is Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK). With their self-titled debut (Hot Cup Records, 2004), the group had demonstrated a wildly engrossing pastiche encompassing influences as diverse as Ornette Coleman and traditional New Orleans swing. MOPDtK was founded by bassist Moppa Elliott and trumpeter Peter Evans who met in the late 90s as students of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. When the two relocated to New York, saxophonist Jon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Blue

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Here's an enticing prospect. Jazz iconoclasts Mostly Other People Do The Killing re-interpret a classic album beloved by millions of people the world over, lending it a unique MOPDTK spin and rendering it totally unrecognisable. A brave move.The album in question? It's Joni Mitchell's Blue (Reprise, 1971), an iconic slice of Laurel Canyon lushness, the starting point for generations of misty-eyed romantic entanglements. MOPDTK take Mitchell's tales of love and kick them as far out of Laurel Canyon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Blue

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Imagine coming home from work to find the furniture in your house was moved and say, your tooth brush is now on the other side of the bathroom sink. A few inches here, and a few inches there. Would you notice? Maybe yes, if you had been gone just a day. What happens in the same scenario if you returned after a month's vacation. You may never discern the change. Now, consider Mostly Other People Do The Killing's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Red Hot!

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I've been too busy enjoying the music of Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPTDK) to realize how controversial they've become. If you doubt their ability to rile the jazz world, all you have to do is post one of their videos on your Facebook page and wait for the ensuing kerfuffle to begin. The core band is comprised of four virtuoso instrumentalists, free-spirits who think nothing of hopping from honest-to-god punk rock, to free improv, to hard bop, to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Red Hot

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Having been simultaneously inspired by and ironic about '80s smooth jazz on the excellent Slippery Rock (Hot Cup Records, 2013), Mostly Other People Do the Killing delve back further into history to explore pre-War genres on Red Hot. It's a tall order for a foursome, so bassist and leader Moppa Elliott has added Brandon Seabrook on banjo, Ron Stabinsky on piano and David Taylor on bass trombone to fully exploit the possibilities inherent in post New Orleans modes. Though the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Slippery Rock

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Strangely enough, bandleader and bassist Moppa Elliot derived inspiration for his compositions on Slippery Rock from smooth jazz albums of the late 1970s and '80s. However, it's more like smooth jazz under siege; with resonating rhythms, scorching and wily horns choruses, the program offers subliminal detections of commercial jazz fare as the band often breaks into complex and peppery free form jaunts. MOPDtK acutely tears down most of the melodic content, only to reassemble it into fractured and largely improvised ...


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