Exposé Online banner

Mostly Other People Do the Killing — Paint
(Hot Cup Records , 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-30

Paint Cover art

Seems like it was only a few of months ago that I was writing about Loafer’s Hollow… oh, it was. That album presented Mostly Other People Do the Killing as a seven-piece group, but over the years, it’s generally been a core quartet with occasional augmentations. Founding bassist Moppa Elliott is the composer and driving force, and for this outing he’s pared it down to a trio with Kevin Shea, who’s been on drums since the beginning, and pianist Ron Stabinsky, who came in with 2012’s Red Hot. Notably absent are trumpet and sax, which had previously been the stars of the arrangements, though Stabinsky is more than capable of filling out the sound with his hyperactive keyboard work. The essence of MOPDTK is a broad knowledge of the history of jazz approached with a highly irreverent attitude. Virtually everything is on the table, and in their wanderings, you’re just as likely to hear echoes of Led Zeppelin as Duke Ellington — well, actually Ellington is more likely, but Zep isn’t out of the question, as I can attest from catching the release party for this album. All three players have mastered the tropes of jazz, from swing beats to walking bass lines to extended blues chords, and creatively blend them with touches of avantgarde and an adventurous sense of humor. They’re mischievous kids messing around in the playground of jazz. And Paint is actually my favorite MOPDTK album so far. It has all the far-ranging intelligence without the more difficult sounds that the sax and trumpet brought to bear. Shea is a maniac on the drums, diving into double or triple time at unexpected times, or crossing swung beats with straight eighths and who knows what else. But the others take it all in stride, often with Elliott holding down the underlying tempo. Do you remember those classic comedy bits with Victor Borge at the piano, where he’s clowning around but you know he’s got impeccable technique? Mostly Other People Do the Killing is like that in the form of a jazz combo.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

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

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Spacious Mind - Cosmic Minds at Play – The Spacious Mind is the latest band to emerge from the burgeoning progressive scene in Sweden. Abandoning the more symphonic influences of countrymen Änglagård, Manticore, and Landberk, The...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues