The newest from Mostly Other People Do the Killing lands in territory staked out by Dixieland bands and stride at the birth of the jazz tradition. With half of the ensemble comprised of wind instruments, the way they employ a quirky lyricism to attain some thrilling moments of intertwining melodicism is pretty damn cool even when viewed in isolation. But the heart of this music beats strongest through its rhythm section, and it’s from here that the unsubtle command to move those feet originates. Every tune on Loafer’s Hollow shouts from the ground up, joyful and alive, and that effusiveness is contagious as hell. The interactions between wind instruments is clever dialog, and there’s a little intrigue generated by trying to match up the music to the literary authors each piece is dedicated to, and it’s an amusing curiosity how ensemble-leader Moppa Elliott titles his compositions after town names from his native Pennsylvania… but this album forms its best connections when the music is inhaled like smoke, downed like whiskey, and then channeled back out in the spirit of fun in which it’s played.
MOPDtK has made a career out of re-envisioning the music of past eras in a way that is inventive while honoring the originals. This is arguably their most enjoyable foray yet.
Your album personnel: Moppa Elliott (bass), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet), Jon Irabagon (tenor & sopranino saxophones), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Brandon Seabrook (banjo, electronics), Ron Stabinsky (piano) and Kevin Shea (drums).
You Louisville people should be aware that the solid Metta Quintet is playing tomorrow night at Comstock Hall on the University of Louisville campus.
The University of Louisville School of Music is having their Winter Jazz Fest, and the Friday night show is the Metta Quintet of alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Hans Schuman. All of these names are familiar to this site (and my various recommendations columns on other outlets). Consider this show highly recommended.
The Metta Quintet is constantly undergoing a change in line-up. They’re associated with JazzReach, a non-profit organization involved heavily in music education and performance. They do their share of commissions, too, and Metta Quintet is one such outlet for it. The players and composers could occupy their own wing at the modern jazz hall of fame.
The show is this Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 8pm.
Tickets are $20, unless you’re a student, then it’s $10.
It’s at Comstock Hall on the UofL campus: 2301 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40292
You should definitely go.
Can’t hurt to mention that Greg Ward’s Touch My Beloved’s Thoughts was this site’s #20 album of the year for 2016 (go read about it).
Also, Glenn Zaleski’s new album Fellowship gets released tomorrow, the day of the show (go listen to it).
And as always, thanks to Mike Tracy at U of L for bringing some more great music to town.
Considering the intricate details and complex expressionism on the new recording from Ping Machine, it would be a fair assumption that the title of Easy Listening was meant as irony. But, really, it’s not, not at all. Because Frédéric Maurin harnesses the myriad of moving pieces and focuses them into a singular focus that makes their 2016 release so very easy to connect with and embrace.
The melodic repetition of vibraphones, the elastic melodicism of saxophone and the harmonic washes of wind instruments creates textures like strata, making them simple to trace. And the shifts between a peaceful ambiance and a driven intensity to an insistent bounce is one where delicate solos drift slowly along to the same confluence of melody that carries the fiercer statements. And all of it is orchestrated in a way that maintains an equal focus on the minute details of a passage and the big picture view of the entire work. That final quality is the approach that makes Easy Listening a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A truly wonderful recording.
Your album personnel: Bastien Ballaz (trombone), Stephan Caracci (marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, percussion), Guillaume Christophel (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Jean-Michel Couchet (alto & soprano saxophones), Andrew Crocker (trumpet, bugle), Fabien Debellefontaine (alto sax, clarinet, ﬂute), Florent Dupuit (tenor sax, ﬂute, alto ﬂute & piccolo), Quentin Ghomari (trumpet, bugle), Didier Havet (bass trombone, tuba), Rafaël Koerner (drums, percussion), Paul Lay (piano, synthesizers), Frédéric Maurin (electric guitar, Max 7), Fabien Norbert (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, bugle), Raphaël Schwab (double bass) and Julien Soro (tenor sax, clarinet).