Exposé Online banner

Mostly Other People Do the Killing — Loafer's Hollow
(Hot Cup Records HC 161, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-07-03

Loafer's Hollow Cover art

It’s been more than ten years since bassist Matthew “Moppa” Elliott formed Mostly Other People Do the Killing as a four-piece with drums, trumpet, and sax. Loafer’s Hollow is their ninth release on Elliott’s Hot Cup label, along with a handful on other labels. This set of tunes sees the group expanded to a septet featuring Elliott on bass, original members Jon Irabagon (saxophone) and Kevin Shea (drums), along with Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Brandon Seabrook (guitar, banjo, electronic), and Ron Stabinsky (piano). This is the same lineup that recorded Red Hot (2012) with the exception of Bernstein, who has replaced original trumpeter Peter Evans. The music is a fascinating melding of virtually every stream of jazz that has ever existed, starting with Dixieland and moving through swing, bebop, cool, free, and maybe even a hint of jazz-rock. And, like The Microscopic Septet, who similarly mix jazz styles from different eras, the music is a lot of fun to listen to. There are also commonalities with the small group recordings of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. The brass instruments are often muted, emphasizing the period sound, but there are some unexpected electronic touches from Seabrook that would throw off a traditionalist. Irabagon’s playing often strays from period authenticity, bringing in elements of later John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and augmenting them with his own explorations of the outer reaches of what a sax can do. The trumpet and trombone occasionally venture into more modern sounds as well, providing some intriguing contrasts as they blow wildly over backing straight out of a Hot Seven session. Describing all of the surprising moments on Loafer’s Hollow would take as long as listening to the whole thing — suffice it to say this is one of the most creative jazz releases of the year, and if you’re put off by the unconventional juxtapositions, you need to lighten up. Or go back to your old 78s.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Mostly Other People Do the Killing

Latest news

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tuatara - Breaking the Ethers – Tuatara's CD was one of those Tower Listening Station impulse purchases. I'd never heard of it, but it sounded so cool in the headphones I ended up taking it home. It starts out with a whirring...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues