Exposé Online banner

Mostly Other People Do the Killing — Loafer's Hollow
(Hot Cup Records HC 161, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-07-03

Loafer's Hollow Cover art

It’s been more than ten years since bassist Matthew “Moppa” Elliott formed Mostly Other People Do the Killing as a four-piece with drums, trumpet, and sax. Loafer’s Hollow is their ninth release on Elliott’s Hot Cup label, along with a handful on other labels. This set of tunes sees the group expanded to a septet featuring Elliott on bass, original members Jon Irabagon (saxophone) and Kevin Shea (drums), along with Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Brandon Seabrook (guitar, banjo, electronic), and Ron Stabinsky (piano). This is the same lineup that recorded Red Hot (2012) with the exception of Bernstein, who has replaced original trumpeter Peter Evans. The music is a fascinating melding of virtually every stream of jazz that has ever existed, starting with Dixieland and moving through swing, bebop, cool, free, and maybe even a hint of jazz-rock. And, like The Microscopic Septet, who similarly mix jazz styles from different eras, the music is a lot of fun to listen to. There are also commonalities with the small group recordings of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. The brass instruments are often muted, emphasizing the period sound, but there are some unexpected electronic touches from Seabrook that would throw off a traditionalist. Irabagon’s playing often strays from period authenticity, bringing in elements of later John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and augmenting them with his own explorations of the outer reaches of what a sax can do. The trumpet and trombone occasionally venture into more modern sounds as well, providing some intriguing contrasts as they blow wildly over backing straight out of a Hot Seven session. Describing all of the surprising moments on Loafer’s Hollow would take as long as listening to the whole thing — suffice it to say this is one of the most creative jazz releases of the year, and if you’re put off by the unconventional juxtapositions, you need to lighten up. Or go back to your old 78s.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Mostly Other People Do the Killing

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Point of Views – From the beginning, led by drummer Dave Kerman, 5uu's started out as the west-coast answer to the European RIO music of the day. Their first mini-album Bel Marduk & Tiamat echoes that more...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues