vendredi 29 octobre 2010

Moppa Elliott - Mostly other people do the killing

Peter Evans: trumpet
Jon Irabagon: saxophones
Moppa Elliott: bass
Kevin Shea: drums & percussion

Moppa Elliott is a young bassist who leads a young, talented band. As such, the music—both written and improvised parts—is
misleadingly mature. Whether it's strong training and influences or just plain old giftedness I can't say, but it's heartening
to see such talent continue to flow into jazz, despite the great old form's ongoing brush with death at the hands of the music
business, aided and abetted by an increasingly indifferent or antipathetic public.

Elliott seems to want to distance his project from the mainstream designation, but here perhaps his youth shows more plainly,
as Mostly Others Do the Killing is clearly a jazz record. The title and design of the CD aims to ape an alternative rock
aesthetic, but five seconds into the music, no one will be fooled. The compositions are in-the-pocket modern jazz romps. The
music is playful and seemingly unintimidated by the deep waters in which it swims, but the ideas and stylistic devices employed
are far from avant-garde. Elliott is correct to aim for a younger audience, but his music is far more sophisticated than any
alternative rock, and he has a heap more instrumental talent in his band.

Jon Irabagon's soprano playing seems to reveal an awareness of Steve Lacy, and he can play with bright clarity and microtonal
murkiness at will. The fine trumpeter Peter Evans, also reported to implement piccolo trumpet and baritone horn on this outing,
likewise has technique to spare, sporting by turns precision to rival Marsalis and controlled, inspired looseness that
suggests an affinity with Don Cherry. The leader's bass is recorded here, alas, heavily. He and drummer Kevin Shea certainly
manage to swing the band through the required passages and assume a perfectly satisfactory free pulse at the appropriate

2005 MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING (rapidshare/mediafire)

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