Recorded and mixed on analog tape, MOPDtK combines historical jazz lineage and the 21st century perspective of MOPDtK's members (Jon Irabagon; Ron Stabinsky; Moppa Elliott; Kevin Shea), with each piece dedicated to an individual who influenced their compositional process.
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Label: Hot Cup Records
Catalog ID: 153
Squidco Product Code: 21224
recorded at Oktavian Audio in Yonkers, New York, on May 23rd, 2015, by Ryan Streber.
Jon Irabagon-alto saxophone
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1. Mauch Chunk Is Jim Thorpe 5:28
2. West Bolivar 6:17
3. Obelisk 6:41
4. Niagra 5:58
5. Herminie 4:52
6. Townville 11:54
7. Mehoopany 4:50
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sample the album:
"Mauch Chunk combines historical jazz lineage and the 21st century perspective of MOPDtK's members. To emulate the sound of classic jazz recordings of the 1950s and 60s, the release was recorded and mixed on analog tape. The project also embraces the traditional idea of albums being under 50 minutes long.
The classic albums of the jazz canon were constrained by the LP format, but benefit from their conciseness and focus. Each of the compositions on this album bears a dedication to an individual who influenced the compositional process in some way. Some of these influences are musical, while others pertain to places in Pennsylvania or specific towns that relate to the dedicatee.
"Mauch Chunk is Jim Thorpe," dedicated to Henry Threadgill and his composition "Spotted Dick is Pudding," is a harmonically rich minor-key shuffle with a major-key bridge a whole step lower than the initial theme. Stabinsky's piano solo is over the minor key section of the form that changes to the major under Irabagon's saxophone solo and recalls the harmony of "All of Me." After a return of the initial theme, the tune ends with an improvised section that includes references to composer Conlon Nancarrow and a spontaneous Picardy third.
This performance encapsulates the MOPDtK approach to ensemble interplay, balancing "conflict and collaboration" between the members of the quartet."-Hot Cup
• Show Bio for Jon Irabagon
"The winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, Irabagon has since topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in the DownBeat Magazine Critics' Poll and been named one of Time Out New York's 25 New York City Jazz Icons. Jon was also named 2012 Musician of the Year in The New York City Jazz Record and is an integral member of such high-profile ensembles as the Mary Halvorson Quintet, the Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, as well as an established bandleader in his own right.
For Perpetual Motion, a project of Moondog arrangements, Jon (along with French saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Sylvain Rifflet) has been awarded a French-American Cultural Exchange grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institut Français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique ("SACEM"). In addition, Jon has received a 2012 Mabuhay Award by the National Association of Filipino-Americans and a 2014 Philippine Presidential Award.
Jon's own record label, Irabbagast Records, has currently released five of his efforts, including I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze (with Mike Pride and Mick Barr), Outright! Unhinged (with Ralph Alessi, Jacob Sacks, John Hebert and Tom Rainey) and It Takes All Kinds (featuring Mark Helias and Barry Altschul), and most recently, the dual release of Behind the Sky (featuring Tom Harrell, Luis Perdomo, Yasushi Nakamura and Rudy Royston) as well as Jon's first solo saxophone recording, Inaction is an Action."-Jon Irabagon Website (http://www.jonirabagon.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Ron Stabinsky
"Ron Stabinsky recently released his debut album, Free for One, the culmination of more than a decade of evolving his improvised solo language. In addition to continuing to pursue his ongoing interest in solo piano improvisation, he enjoys working on music in a stylistically diverse array of situations throughout the United States and Europe with many other musicians and ensembles, including free-improvising saxophonist Jack Wright, bass trombone virtuoso David Taylor, Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood, and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman. Recent festival appearances include Newport Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Moers Festival (Germany), Jazzfestival Saalfelden (Austria), Outreach Festival (Austria), and Jazz and More Festival Sibiu (Romania). He is currently a regular member of the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the new music ensemble Relâche, the Charles Evans Quartet, and the Peter Evans Quintet."-Ron Stabinsky 6/14/2017
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• Show Bio for Moppa Elliott
"A short biography from the artist:
I was born on September 13, 1978, the first son of David and Carolyn Elliott in Scranton, Pa. Incidentally, they named me Matthew Thomas Elliott, not Moppa. My parents are both college instructors and intense music lovers, so I was able to hear a lot of music growing up. After a brief introduction to the piano, I started to play the trombone in the sixth grade, and after deciding a few years later that I wanted to also play an instrument with strings, I was given an electric bass. When I was about 17, I fixed up my father's old acoustic bass in order to audition for a summer program. I then began to study the bass seriously with Pocono resident Tony Marino. In the fall of 1997, I enrolled in both Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music majoring in biology and Jazz bass performance in Oberlin's double-degree program. While there I was able to record my first CD, Pinpoint and to gain some experience playing in Cleveland OH for about 3 years. I was also fortunate enough to teach at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts for four summers. I finished school in the winter of 2001, and moved to New York City the following summer. Here in New York, I have been able to play and record with some great musicians and to continue teaching at St. Mary's High School."-Moppa Elliott Website (http://www.moppaelliott.com/who.html)
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• Show Bio for Kevin Shea
"Kevin Shea is valued as being a vital and original artist in the contemporary music scene. Shea's originality is manifested not only by his personal approach to his instrument, but also throughout his constant search for new musical horizons unifying all the bands he has been involved in despite the parameters set for musicians by genre definition, or by historical icons.
The plurality of rigorous artistic aspirations and creative engagement that distinguish the discography of Kevin Shea are not the product of chance or merely taking advantage of opportunities -- but the result of labor, strong convictions, and a strong conceptual support -- a deliberate search for transitional territories away from the dogmas of boring and unnecessary conventions.
Shea's artistic interests are rooted in reevaluating what a band/music, musician/performer, artist and audience can and should be. Splitting the difference between passion and song, Shea plays multi-dimensional utopian sound in which opposing musical forces integrate to form a new sustainable recipe for sound and social implication. Remaining devoted to his belief that the application of sonic diversity is paramount to the appreciation of human diversity, Shea's ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion -- an approach perpetuating audiences, listeners, and sometimes fellow band members, to face, question, define, and attempt to defend their own level of tolerance and compassion head-on, no-holds-barred.
Through this carefully planned direct method in the round, Shea's sonic investigations emphatically traverse the mobius strip highway of refurbished canticles, perpetually climaxing between Sadean semelparity and Platonic resurrection. At the heart of Shea's dialectical core, unabashed artifacts of rhythmic iconoclasm conjoin with anthemic melody gestures and modern memory loss to create a vital force that gives us bittersweet contemplation and empathy.
As a youth, Shea moved throughout the States many times, transforming any of his formal expectations into a joyous foundation of constant flux. He learned that intuition and customs had to be constantly re-evaluated and negotiated rather than held as sacred. This process of questioning is central to Shea's music. To him, sound is a result of a broader process rather than formulas tied to notions of predictable emotional response. Shea sees sound and music, not as a prize, but a simple aspect of banal daily life.
Kevin Shea has over 25 years of experience as a professional drummer, composer and performer. He has recorded on over 120 albums in a mish-mash of contexts and has performed in over 40 countries. His training started in public elementary school and continued steadily through his college years at Berklee College of Music."-Kevin Shea website (http://www.kevinshea.info/)
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