Looking like the cover to Ornette's "This Is Our Music", the brilliant quartet of Peter Evans, Kevin Shea, Jon Irabagon & Moppa Elliott both pay homage to & move forward hard bop music.
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Label: Hot Cup Records
Catalog ID: Hot Cup 082
Squidco Product Code: 12400
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded and mixed by John White at Midtown Sound, February 2008.
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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"Mostly Other People Do the Killing formed in the fall of 2003 in New York City. Bassist and bandleader, Moppa Elliott met trumpeter Peter Evans in the fall of 1998 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where both studied. While at Oberlin, Elliott and Evans performed together in a series of ensembles many of which were important precursors to MOPDtK. Upon relocating to New York, Elliott met saxophonist Jon Irabagon after joining Jon Lundbom's Big V Chord. The initial drummer in MOPDtK was Vincent Sperrazza who participated in the rehearsals leading up to the quartet's first gig, November 25. Sperrazza was unable to make the gig, and his last minute replacement was Kevin Shea who had met Elliott through Mary Halvorson. The performance, at a L.E.S. series curated by Will Connell at Niagra, included a solo by Shea in which he removed his shirt and whipped his drums with it. The perfect drummer had been discovered!
Initially, the repertoire of MOPDtK included both originals by Elliott, Evans and Irabagon, and jazz standards such as "Skippy," "Moanin'" and "A Night in Tunisia." All of Elliott's compositions are always named after towns in Pennsylvania which gives his titles both conceptual distance from the musical material and an amusing back-story. The band slowly began to transform from a free-improvising jazz band, to an ensemble that deconstructed both jazz standards and Elliott's compositions, weaving in and out of styles erratically and often humorously.
Mostly Other People Do the Killing recorded its first eponymous album during the summer of 2004 and released it on Elliott's Hot Cup label. The album featured artwork by Nathan Kuruna and debuted the "shooter logo." The album represents the first time Elliott was satisfied with the results of the group's experimentation, moving in and out of time and subverting each other's musical ideas.
In early 2008, MOPDtK recorded their third album, This Is Our Moosic. By 2009, they had been voted the winners of the DownBeat Critics' Poll in the Rising Star Ensemble category, and Evans, Irabagon, and Elliott had been mentioned in their respective categories. Shea's duo "Talibam!" with Matt Motel had released Boogie in the Breeze Blocks on the ESP disk label, and Hot Cup had begun releasing a wider variety of music.
MOPDtK's front line has continued to garner critical acclaim. Jon Irabagon won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition, becoming the fourth winner for saxophone, while Evans released his second solo trumpet album on Evan Parker's psi label.
Between 2008 and 2009, the quartet spent nine days recording new material over the course of three sessions. From this material they created their fourth album, "Forty Fort" released in December 2009. The quartet made its first trip to Europe in May 2009 when the participated in the Moers Festival, followed by appearances in the Jazzores and Enjoy Jazz Festivals."-Hot Cup Records
• Show Bio for Peter Evans
"Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improvisor/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2002 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of the cooperative groups Pulverize the Sound (with Mike Pride and Tim Dahl) and Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Sam Pluta) and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations with like minded players. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation's Emerging Artist Program, and the Doris Duke Foundation for the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. Evans has presented and/or performed his works at major festivals worldwide and tours his own groups extensively. He has worked with some of the leading figures in new music: John Zorn, Kassa Overall, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee, George Lewis, and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011."-Peter Evans Website (http://pevans.squarespace.com/about/)
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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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• 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 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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