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MUSICIAN Born:

Moppa Elliott

I was born on September 13, 1978, the first son of David and Carolyn Elliott in Scranton, Pa. Incidentally, they named me Matthew Thomas Elliott, not Moppa. My parents are both college instructors and intense music lovers, so I was able to hear a lot of music growing up. After a brief introduction to the piano, I started to play the trombone in the sixth grade, and after deciding a few years later that I wanted to also play an instrument with strings, I was given an electric bass. When I was about 17, I fixed up my father’s old acoustic bass in order to audition for a summer program. I then began to study the bass seriously with Pocono resident Tony Marino. In the fall of 1997, I enrolled in both Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music majoring in biology and Jazz bass performance in Oberlin’s double-degree program

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Moppa Elliott: Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band

Read "Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Bassist Moppa Elliott is best known as the leader of the surrealistic jazz group, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, but his musical universe, encompassing work with symphony orchestras and new music ensembles, stretches much farther than that band's frantic music. This is reflected in this 2 CD set of Elliott leading three different types of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Joseph Benzola, Liebman/Rudolph/Drake, Tom Kessler and More

Read "Joseph Benzola, Liebman/Rudolph/Drake, Tom Kessler and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Canadian saxophonist and flautist Anna Webber has seen her star rising since settling in New York. She's become a highly regarded member of the creative improvisation scene there, and each recording of her own compositions becomes more impressive. With her septet she tackles a number of homages to some of her favourite 20th century composers' percussion ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Harder On The Outside

Read "Harder On The Outside" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

A complex web of sampling, beat construction and live improvisation all led to this disc by guitarist Jon Lundbom and his group, Big Five Chord, a CD that is a heady stew of hard-edged funk grooves, squalling saxophones and gleeful guitar freakouts. This project started with saxophonist Bryan Murray sampling old Big Five Chord ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

James Brandon Lewis, Mick Rossi and More

Read "James Brandon Lewis, Mick Rossi and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Finding your own path is one thing, staying on it is another. This show features several musicians who are doing that today. Bassist Moppa Elliott's urge to challenge the idiom is not confined to his occasionally controversial Mostly Other People Do The Killing. His new recording, Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band, presents three distinctly different bands and ...

Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Sirius Juju and Unspeakable Garbage at Jerry's on Front

Read "Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Sirius Juju and Unspeakable Garbage at Jerry's on Front" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Mostly Other People Do the Killing/Sirius Juju/Unspeakable GarbageJerry's on Frontjny: Philadelphia, PAFebruary 16, 2019 Twenty blocks and a world away from the clubs and bars of Philadelphia's city center, the experimental art space of Jerry's on Front is a room one would hardly imagine for music at all. It's a nondescript ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast!

Read "2019 Starts with a Jazz Blast!" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As they say, “a good beginning makes a good ending" and, based on the extraordinary amount of sensational new releases that have come out in less than a month, it looks like we're in it for a great musical ride in 2019. Here are two hours of gems from albums that have just been, or about ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Harder On The Outside

Read "Harder On The Outside" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Sometimes a single track can satisfy an album's worth of listening. You get that feeling with “People be Talking," the first song on Jon Lundbom's ninth release with his band Big Five Chord. His quintet packs everything into this kitchen sink composition. The piece is jazz-and-not-jazz, like Miles Davis affected in his transitional years between his ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Running The Bas(s)es

Read "Running The Bas(s)es" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

In baseball parlance, “touch 'em all" refers to hitting a four-bagger, a home run. In this week's episode, we try to “touch" a whole bunch of wonderful contemporary bassists. The following would make up a pretty darn good all-star team of “bass" runners: John Hébert with Marty Ehrlich, Joshua Abrams, Drew Gress in Free Country, Sean ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Irabagon Quartet: Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics

Read "Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics" reviewed by Mark Corroto

It's easy imagine Hollywood producers putting together a comic book superhero movie when listening to a recording by the saxophonist Jon Irabagon. We know that after joining Moppa Elliott's Mostly Other People Do The Killing and winning the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, he decided to use his super powers for good instead of evil. Like ...


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