Exposé Online banner

Mostly Other People Do the Killing — Paint
(Hot Cup Records , 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-30

Paint Cover art

Seems like it was only a few of months ago that I was writing about Loafer’s Hollow… oh, it was. That album presented Mostly Other People Do the Killing as a seven-piece group, but over the years, it’s generally been a core quartet with occasional augmentations. Founding bassist Moppa Elliott is the composer and driving force, and for this outing he’s pared it down to a trio with Kevin Shea, who’s been on drums since the beginning, and pianist Ron Stabinsky, who came in with 2012’s Red Hot. Notably absent are trumpet and sax, which had previously been the stars of the arrangements, though Stabinsky is more than capable of filling out the sound with his hyperactive keyboard work. The essence of MOPDTK is a broad knowledge of the history of jazz approached with a highly irreverent attitude. Virtually everything is on the table, and in their wanderings, you’re just as likely to hear echoes of Led Zeppelin as Duke Ellington — well, actually Ellington is more likely, but Zep isn’t out of the question, as I can attest from catching the release party for this album. All three players have mastered the tropes of jazz, from swing beats to walking bass lines to extended blues chords, and creatively blend them with touches of avantgarde and an adventurous sense of humor. They’re mischievous kids messing around in the playground of jazz. And Paint is actually my favorite MOPDTK album so far. It has all the far-ranging intelligence without the more difficult sounds that the sax and trumpet brought to bear. Shea is a maniac on the drums, diving into double or triple time at unexpected times, or crossing swung beats with straight eighths and who knows what else. But the others take it all in stride, often with Elliott holding down the underlying tempo. Do you remember those classic comedy bits with Victor Borge at the piano, where he’s clowning around but you know he’s got impeccable technique? Mostly Other People Do the Killing is like that in the form of a jazz combo.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Matthew "Moppa" Elliott

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Ethnic-3 Live – Since the band was founded in the early 70s by ex-Magma members François Cahen (piano) and Yochk'o Seffer (saxes), theirs has been a constant evolutionary path, with no two consecutive Zao...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues