Monday, November 21, 2016

Mostly Other People Do the Killing - Live (For Tune Records, 2016)

One of the reasons that Mostly Other People Do the Killing has remained one of the most vital forces in modern jazz over the past decade is their willingness to embrace the joy and humor that can be found when playing music. From naming their tracks after small towns in Pennsylvania to the satirical dig at America’s culture of violence that gives them their name, the music is bright and buoyant and always a lot of fun. This album was recorded live during the Jazz and Beyond Improvised Music Festival on October 29th, 2012 at Jazz Klub Hipnoza in Katowice, Poland. After a few lineup changes, this returns to the original format with Moppa Elliott on bass, Kevin Shea on drums and adding a new wrinkle with electronics, Jon Irabagon on saxophone and Peter Evans on trumpet. Most of the compositions evolve in the form of suites, starting with “Handsome Eddy / Drainlick / Effort, Patience, Diligence” which allows them to move through a wide range of emotions and also shows how tight the band is as they cycle through these themes without a hitch. The centerpiece of the album is the near twenty-five minute medley of “Yo, Yeo, Yough / Dexter, Wayne, and Mobley / Round Bottom, Square Top.” This demonstrates how the group is able to integrate the progressive and avant-garde strains of jazz with a firm grounding in historical hard-bop. “Is Granny Spry? / Elliott Mills” pulls things into an even more experimental direction with varying tones of electronic sound and even more alarming human ones, before returning to more traditional jazz improvisation and then ending the concert in grand fashion with a short, riotous “My Delightful Muse.” This was a long disc that never flags on interest, and the live audience is totally engaged as well, making the group really push their music forward in a very exciting manner. Mostly Other People Do The Killing: Live - amazon.com

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