Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mostly Other People Do The Killing: Red Hot

Mostly Other People Do The Killing (quartet)
Red Hot (Hot Cup Records; 2013)
Jon Iragbagon (sax)
Kevin Shea (drums)
Peter Evans (trumpet)
Moppa Elliott (bass)

David Taylor (trombone, bass)
Rob Stabinsky (piano)
Brandon Seabrook (banjo, electronics)

Nice way to begin and end the year--with new albums by MOPDTK. At the beginning of the year I was talking about their 80s influenced Slippery Rock! This time around, they will frustrate their detractors even further with Red Hot--a bizarre and wonderful experimentation with New Orleans and Kansas City style jazz. Sound is traditional. The vision is way beyond.

The quartet is expanded to a sextet which provides a lot more opportunities for creativity and extended solo work. "Zelienople," is a raucous 30s anthem filled with some aggressive performances by Shea, Evans and the horn section. This is juxtaposed by the fun filled lines from Seabrook on banjo Stabinsky rollicking piano. Great stuff.

Melding the avant garde into this kind of venture seem dangerous. But it works extremely well on "Red Hot" and "King Of Prussia." Both vicious number for different reasons. "Red Hot" features a bluesy vamp melody wrapped by electronic one tone static. A difficult an strange occurrence at first but then you realize the inventiveness. "King Of Prussia" is a ballad filled everything lovely and distracting. Irabagon's playing is bold and very enveloping.

Remember that drunken new years eve party. Actually maybe you don't. Well "Orange Is The New Town" probably was playing in morning hours during your waking dream state. Beautifully executed with some slow emotional notes by Stabinsky and closing with a large dose of echoing chaos.

Everything lets loose on the finale "Bird In Hand." A rapturous number that will have thinking of a joyous night at the Cotton Club. The entire ensemble features throughout. It's fun, uplifting and a great way to close out a very adventurous record.

With Red Hot, MOPDTK have done another twisted and victorious job with building on tradition while making you rethink it as well. Excellent way to close out the year.