All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Red Hot

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
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 new voices successfully fill out the ensembles and expand the instrumental palette, there is a downside: we don't get to hear quite so much of the stellar team of trumpeter Peter Evans and reedman Jon Irabagon.

One consequence of drawing upon such a distant age is that the stylistic juxtapositions between the modern and the source era become jarringly obvious, having the side effect of revealing Elliott's compositional gambits with startling clarity: the abrupt jump cuts, the irreverent exaggerations and the in your face contrasts. Cram in the period detail of a polyphonic front line, shout choruses, block chords, stop time figures and short solo breaks, and it's a madcap, even disorientating, experience. Even that's not the end of it, as if in thrall to some fevered logic, Elliott also gleefully inserts passages of klezmer, free improv, modal vamp and Latin groove into the mix.

That theme of colliding textures bleeds into the longer solos which announce many numbers. Drummer Kevin Shea undertakes a wide ranging survey of percussion styles to launch "Zelienople," maintaining his riotous approach in opposition to the ensuing steady group tempo, while in a tour de force introduction to "King Of Prussia" Stabinsky essays a statement that consists almost entirely of fragmentary quotes from a dizzying selection of tunes. Neither is as extreme as Seabrook's feature beginning the title cut (incidentally a mash up of at least five different songs by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) which alternates sine wave electronics with acoustic banjo fills. Most rewarding musically is the bassist's lead in to "Turkey Foot Corner" apparently following instruction to make something from a restricted menu comprising just double stops, glissandi and wide intervallic leaps.

It takes consummate skill to be able to navigate such choppy waters so seamlessly and this crew have it in abundance. But while undoubtedly smart, the carefully plotted anarchy takes some getting used to, and may even deter some listeners. That would be a shame, as once past the intentionally jolting polarities, we are ultimately left with a typically irreverent, occasionally infuriating, but always staggeringly inventive homage to the jazz canon.

Track Listing: The Shickshinny Shimmy; Zelienople; Red Hot; King Of Prussia; Turkey Foot Corner; Seabrook, Power, Plank; Orange Is The Name Of The Town; Gum Stump; Bird-In-Hand.

Personnel: Peter Evans: trumpet; Jon Irabagon: soprano and C melody saxophone; David Taylor: bass trombone; Brandon Seabrook: banjo and electronics; Ron Stabinsky: piano; Moppa Elliott: bass; Kevin Shea: drums and percussion.

Title: Red Hot | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Hot Cup Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Yellow House

Yellow House

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Paint

Hi-Nella

Hi-Nella

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Loafer's Hollow

Mauch Chunk Is Jim Thorpe

Mauch Chunk Is Jim Thorpe

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Mauch Chunk

Yo, Yeo, Yough

Yo, Yeo, Yough

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Slippery Rock

Forty Fort

Forty Fort

Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Forty Fort

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Paint

Paint

Hot Cup Records
2017

buy
Loafer's Hollow

Loafer's Hollow

Hot Cup Records
2017

buy
Mauch Chunk

Mauch Chunk

Hot Cup Records
2015

buy
Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Red Hot!

Mostly Other People...

Hot Cup Records
2014

buy
Blue

Blue

Hot Cup Records
2014

buy
Slippery Rock

Slippery Rock

Hot Cup Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Acknowledgement" CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Contrast" CD/LP/Track Review Contrast
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 7, 2018
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Traveling Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Traveling Pulse
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 15, 2018