Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mostly Other People Do The Killing - This Is Our Moosic (Hot Cup, 2008)

MOPDTK is one of the more fun ensembles in modern jazz. Much like The Bad Plus, they inject a little irreverence into their music while still keeping their performances thoughtful and edgy. The band is composed of Monk Competition winner Jon Irabagon on tenor saxophone, Peter Evans on trumpet, Moppa Elliot on bass and Kevin Shea on drums. The music draws heavily on the free-bop tradition of Ornette Coleman, as evidenced by the wild and woolly saxophone playing on "East Orwell" which has a propulsive bass line (the basis for all of their music) and the tart and funky trumpet of "My Delightful Muse" which takes things at a breakneck pace before adding a strong and free saxophone interlude over some hyperactive drumming. This cool and exciting performance is a highlight of the disc. "Biggertown" has a strutting melody and excellent high-wire group interplay. The live version of Billy Joel's "Allentown" is a strange way to end the album, they play a straight pop arrangement and then finally move out into free improv, so it's hard to tell whether it is heartfelt tribute or snarky pastiche. But that is indicative of this band and it's one of the things that makes them so wonderful to listen to. Mixing the extraordinary with the absurd, this group has a fine conception of post-modern jazz.
This Is Our Moosic -

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