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Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Forty Fort

Featuring composer/bassist Moppa Elliott along with Peter Evans on trumpet, Jon Irabagon on alto saxophone, and Kevin Shea on drums, Mostly Other People Do The Killing has emerged as one of the most dynamic avant garde ensembles in freestyle jazz. Their new CD, Forty Fort is their fourth album as a unit and displays their prowess as a prolific group. Building and expanding on each other’s contributions, each member seems to be a catalyst for one another showing an eagerness to take risks and venture into areas that seem foreign to audiences. Their lively interaction is striking and reflect their own individuality and dynamic personalities. Covered in Improvisations that are emotive, impulsive and polyrhythmic, Forty Fort is filled with eclectic patterns, tangential wisps and poignant eruptions that keep its waters toiling in a state of constant flux.

With shavings of bugaloo-blues, hard-bop, swing, irregular rhythms, and derivatives of eclectic modern, Mostly Other People Do The Killing strive to make music that inspires having fun. Their playing is carefree while showing a visceral awareness of one other’s musings during the highs and lows in the arrangements. The four members nourish each other’s growth, propelling them forward and developing their musicality. Tracks like “Pen Argyl” and “Rough And Ready” demonstrate the bands ability to fuse their mutations seamlessly from jocular bursts to complacent ebbs through the stages of the melodic movements. A cyclical pattern is established which is welded by the band’s efforts of exerting and releasing, producing a systematic versing that allows for each member to shine like in “Little Hope.” The composition strings fragments of ’80s and ’90s pop music doused in splashes of hard-bop and Irabagon’s banshee wailing. The bossa nova opening of “Blue Bell” segues into a striking collage of emotive improvisations, which contrasts the smooth, undulating lines of the bass in “Round Bottom, Square Top.”

From Duke Ellington to Phil Collins, Mostly Other People Do The Killing show a wide range of influences and the strands that connect them all together. The band’s banter is energizing and personifies their multiple attributes, displaying 100 years of music history in the coiling weaves of their sound bytes.

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Susan Frances