373

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Forty Fort

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Forty Fort The experience of listening to the highly gifted quartet Mostly Other Do the Killing (MOPDtK) is like taking a ride on roller-coaster while drunk, but still trusting your life in the hands of a wild driver who often has some epileptic fits. It is fun, no doubt; a wild fun, like going to a circus. But after the surprise is over, and MOPDtK continues to surprise with every new release, it's a dizzying experience that can require rest from such a hyperactive ride.

With an already forged identity in its three previous releases, MOPDtK has perfected its recipe. Jumping back and forth between genres and styles, often in the same musical sentence—no matter what the context is—and always taking risks and testing its musical envelope, its members know they can trust each other to make the necessary, constant adjustments. It feels as though bassist/leader/composer Moppa Elliott, trumpeter Peter Evans, saxophonist Jon Irabagon and drummer Kevin Shea are trying to express a number of sometimes conflicting musical personalities, and sometimes simultaneously. But it is always about fun, just as trumpeter Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob is about fun. Making jazz music, throughout its history and its myriad diversions, is sexy once again, forcing high-brow listeners to move more than their heads.

The fun begins with a cover shamelessly quoting the front cover of drummer Roy Haynes' classic Out of the Afternoon (Impulse!, 1962), and liner notes by Leonard Featherweight, a tribute to British jazz journalist Leonard Feather. "Pen Argyl" gallops between boogaloo blues, tempting funky rhythms and fast, mindless disco patterns, introducing Shea's electronics into the dense sound. "Rough and Ready" is an encyclopedic collection of seventies fusion clichés, most notably Weather Report, climaxing in a symbolic chaotic coda. "Blue Ball" manages to do the unthinkable—mix trumpeter Herb Alpert's cheesy bossa-nova lounge playing with abstract micro-tonal free improvisation associated with innovative saxophonists like John Butcher. A quote from eighties pop star Sheena Easton's "Strut" is added to the smoking dish, all the while sounding surprisingly organic.

MOPDtK then opts for some anarchistic fun, with "Nanticoke Cocke" suggesting how the standard "Someday My Prince Will Come" would sound if played by one of saxophonist Albert Ayler's ensembles, with its members competing for solo space. "Little Hope" matches a typical Phil Collins pop song and some hard-swinging drumming à la Art Blakey, as if both being drummers is enough to make the connection. The title track is another encyclopedic demonstration of quotes; from fifties bebop to current smooth jazz; sparks of Duke Ellington's genius harmonization contrasting with bland eighties rock; and the Brecker Brothers' trademark fusion with a concluding drum solo. "Round Bottom, Square Top" and "St. Mary's Proctor" sound more conventional, as they keep a relatively rational framework, with the added spice of tabla and didgeridoo sampling. The ride ends with a cover of Neal Hefty's "Cute," written for Count Basie, and featuring an energetic drum solo.


Track Listing: Pen Argyl; Rough and Ready; Blue Ball; Nanticoke Coke; Little Hope; Forty Fort; Round Bottom, Square Top; St. Mary's Proctor; Cute.

Personnel: Peter Evans: trumpet; Jon Irabagon: alto and tenor saxophones; Moppa Elliott: bass; Kevin Shea: drums, electronics.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Hot Cup Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
General Articles
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Nels Cline Nels Cline
guitar, electric
Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
saxophone
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Everything's Gonna Be Great" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Gonna Be Great
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!