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

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ivanhoe - Polarized – Can't get enough of that Iron Maiden? Check out Polarized. There is no doubt, as musicians, Ivanhoe are first rate. The singer, Andy B. Frank is very good, if he's a German singing in English,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues