Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mostly Other People Do The Klling. Hot Cup 2012

I'll grant  you the name is a bit on the odd side but...the music is not exactly commercial smooth jazz either. Mostly Other People draw from a myriad of styles, deconstruct the harmonic roots and then create something new. Case in point; Peter Evans (Rising Star Trumpet), Jon Irabagon (rising star alto saxophone), Moppa  Elliott (Rising Star Composer), and finally Kevin Shea (2012 Best Drummer Village Voice). There may well be more talent in this one band then a half a dozen bands put together. With roots taking one back to the 70's and 80's some jazz purists will roll their eyes at the commercial pandering that seems limited to the genre. Moppa Elliott instead extracted certain idiomatic phrases, harmonic intentions and embellishments to come up with his own style. While odd meter may be the school of the day here, the references to a wide range of styles is unmistakable. From Kool and The Gang to Philip Glass, Mostly Other People Do The Killing is walking the creative tightrope of imagination, flair and consistency to create their own sound.

"Slippery Rock" opens with a drum solo over a vamp which of course leads into the tune "Hearts Content." A call and response pattern leads into an open section for solos and reoccurs at the end of the tune. "Can't Tell Shipp from Shohola" while showing the bands sense of musical humor also show cases the bands more sensitive side. "Sayre" is constructed about the compositional clickes of the 1980's smooth jazz, an idiom long since left for dead.

Composer Moppa Elliott spends a great deal of time teaching and most recently working with one of the finest bands from 2012, Jon Lundbom and Big V Chord. Saxophonist Jon Irabagon recently walked away with the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Award and is well on his to  legendary status having recently joined the Dave Douglas new quintet. Drummer Kevin Shea has been working in the more experimental idioms of rap and hip and hop and finally received the best drummer award after a decade of intense work. Trumpet player Pete evens is on the fast track to stardom having been named one of the five top musicians of the year.