Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mostly Other People Do the Killing - Paint (out Oct. 20 on HOT CUP RECORDS)

Moppa Elliott’s Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Presents Paint

DownBeat Critics’ Poll Winners: Rising Star Ensemble
El Intruso Best Band to see Live, 2013
El Intruso Jazz Group of the Year, 2011

“With each album, [MOPDtK’s] reach gets deeper and more convincing.” – Mike Shanley, JazzTimes

“The group that has always straddled the broad and fuzzy line between tradition and chaotic improvisation, has nevertheless managed that process with a mixture of sophistication, revelation and unbridled enthusiasm.” – Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

Featuring: Ron Stabinsky (Jazz Journalists Association Best Debut Album, Free For One), Moppa Elliott (DownBeat Critics’ Poll Rising Star Bassist, Composer, Arranger), Kevin Shea (2012 Best Drummer, Village Voice)

Upcoming Performances:  • October 13 – Seattle, WA   • October 15 – Los Angeles, CA

Hot Cup Records is proud to present Paint, the first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Paint features seven new compositions by bassist/composer Moppa Elliott written after pianist Ron Stabinsky joined the ensemble in 2014. Also featured on the recording is drummer Kevin Shea. Each composition on the album is named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title. All of the compositions are by Elliott, except "Blue Goose" which was written by Duke Ellington who apparently also had a fondness for strangely named places in the Keystone State.

Jazz listeners often remark that the piano trio format allows each of the members more space than other, larger ensembles, but in the case of MOPDtK, their unrestricted style is instantly recognizable in configurations ranging from trio to septet. The trio does afford each member more time in the spotlight, and none more than pianist Stabinsky who provides the lion's share of lead and solo work here. Elliott continues to eschew bass and drum solos, utilizing them only in compositionally specific sections of music.

The album opens with the lilting "Yellow House," a composition consisting of four distinct sections and a melody that recalls the hard bop era of the 1950s.  The solo form of the composition alternates between the initial melody and an Afro-Cuban feel in a minor key.  Stabinsky's solo builds to a climax and dissolves the form before bassist Elliott restates the opening theme. The interplay between the members of the trio is easy to hear as drummer Shea and Stabinsky exchange high-pitched interjections.

The slow blues "Orangeville," written in 5/4 time, has undergone several revisions and represents the oldest composition on the recording. First composed for the original pianoless quartet configuration of the band, the tune was heavily rewritten for the band's current incarnation. The two solo sections are over vamps and Stabinsky was instructed to "play as many notes as possible" at the beginning of his improvisation before cuing a modulation leading to the bass solo.

"Black Horse" is based on a rising chord progression that provides the framework for both the opening vamp and the first melodic statement. The bridge of the tune is more blues-based and draws from the compositions of post-bop musicians of the 1960s. The ensemble maintains the up-tempo groove and moves through the different sections of the form before becoming stuck on a two-chord vamp which Elliott escapes by restating the melody. 

The Duke Ellington composition "Blue Goose" may or may not be named after the eponymous location in Pennsylvania, but Moppa Elliott hopes so. Regardless, Elliott composed a piece with this title only to find out that America's greatest composer already beat him to it. He changed the name of his composition to "Whitehall" (since the titles have nothing to do with the music, anyway) and decided to record a trio version of Ellington's piece. The original recording was made by the "Blanton/Webster" version of the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1940 and adapted for trio by Elliott.

The slow, minor key waltz "Plum Run" begins the second half of Paint. Elliott states the initial theme and takes the first solo over a form that alternates between a diminished chord section and the changes to the A section. Again, Stabinsky's solo builds to a spectacular climax before returning to the mellow, bluesy theme.

"Green Briar" is an up-tempo tune based on several repeated note figures that are harmonized in a variety of ways. This performance serves as a vehicle for Stabinsky to improvise over a repeated form with relatively stable harmonic and rhythmic support.

The last composition written for this album was "Golden Hill," a lyrical melody in triple meter. The melody is played first by the piano followed by the bass with extensive embellishments featuring tremolos and other flurries of notes. This may be the most lyrical playing ever heard on a MOPDtK record, but the ending interplay between Shea and Stabinsky eventually removes any trace of sentiment.

The album ends with the aforementioned "Whitehall" that began life as Elliott's "Blue Goose."  The piece consists of a single melody that is reharmonized and expanded each time it is stated with short interludes in the key of A. The solo form incorporates all of the harmonizations of the melody as well as an open section over the note "A" used as a pedal-point.

Over the past thirteen years, MOPDtK, led by bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, has earned a place at the forefront of jazz and improvised music, performing in a style that is at once rooted in the jazz tradition and highly improvised and unstructured. Billed as a "Bebop Terrorist Band," their music melds history and tradition with cutting-edge vibrancy and the underlying imperative that jazz is alive and well, and most of all, fun. Their initial albums explored the intersection between common practice hard bop compositions and free improvisation, incorporating a kaleidoscopic wealth of other influences from pop music to the classical European repertoire. In 2010, Elliott expanded the group's framework and began exploring specific eras of jazz, resulting in 2011's Slippery Rock (an investigation of smooth jazz and fusion styles) and 2012's Red Hot (featuring an expanded lineup recalling the jazz and blues recordings of the late 1920s and early 1930s). 

2014 saw the release of Blue, a note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis' classic album, Kind of Blue that evoked a wide range of strong responses from both the public and critics and will likely be a part of the discussion of the state of jazz in the 21st century for years to come. In 2015, the band returned to a quartet format for the album Mauch Chunk, which explored the hard bop styles common in the 1950s. Since the release of Mauch Chunk, all four members of the core quartet have released solo recordings including Moppa Elliott's Still, Up In the Air, and pianist Ron Stabinsky's Free For One, both on Hot Cup Records. In February 2017 MOPDtK the band released the septet album Loafer's Hollow to wide critical acclaim.

Pianist Ron Stabinsky first joined MOPDtK in 2013 as part of a project at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam commemorating the anniversary of Eric Dolphy and Booker Little Live at the Five Spot. In addition to his work with MOPDtK, Stabinsky is an accompanist in virtually every possible context from classical recitals, to community choirs, to improvised music, jazz, pop, and rock. Stabinsky lives in Plains, PA and is a member of the Peter Evans Quartet and Quintet, Charles Evans Quartet (no relation), and recently recorded his first solo album Free For One on Hot Cup Records.

Kevin Shea was named "Best Drummer in New York" by the Village Voice and regularly tours with the noise-rock-improv duo, Talibam! Shea recently released a third album with the band People featuring Mary Halvorson.

Bassist Moppa Elliott teaches music at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY and double bass and trombone at the Long Island Conservatory.  He also produces and releases albums on Hot Cup Records including his solo bass recording Still, Up in the Air.

Unitrio - Picasso (FRESH SOUND RECORDS 2017)

“PICASSO”, the third effort by UNITRIO, was born on the road, somewhere between here and there, while the trio was touring. Our daily exchanges revealed a common wish to write music based on the work of another artist… a musician, painter, cinema director…

Very soon we were drawn towards the art of painting, and then naturally to Picasso, his work, his paintings and designs reached us and talked to us. The fact that just his name summons a whole different universe, using such a powerful , uniquely personal language, made the choice easier.

In addition to pushing us out of our comfort zone, this exercise gives the listener a singular approach to the works of Picasso we have chosen: it allows him to “read” a canvas while being guided by the musical highlights proposed by UNITRIO, and to “travel” inside the music while looking at a pictorial score, the original source.

"Buste de femme" and "Femmes d’Alger d’après Delacroix" become then three different versions, with each composer proposing his own interpretation of the painting. “L’Acrobate,” on the other hand, is told by par Frederic Borey, “La nouvelle ronde de la jeunesse” by Alain Tissot and “Massacre en Corée” by Damien Argentieri.

We hope this album will take you somewhere you may not have gone by yourselves, a place where your imagination, ours and who knows, maybe even Pablo Picasso’s, meet. Have a good listen and a good trip.

Buste de Femme
01. Vu par Alain Tissot 4:22
02. Vu par Damien Argentieri 5:34
03. Vu par Frederic Borey 6:01

La nouvelle ronde de la jeunesse
04. Vu par Alain Tissot 5:40

05. Vu par Frederic Borey 6:14

Femmes d’Alger d’après Delacroix
06. Vu par Damien Argentieri 5:48
07. Vu par Frederic Borey 5:23
08. Vu par Alain Tissot 5:55

Massacre en Corée
09. Vu par Damien Argentieri 2:53

All tracks written and arranged by Unitrio

Damien Argentieri (Hammond organ)
Frederic Borey (tenor sax)
Alain Tissot (drums)

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Studio Mesa, Soignolles-en-Brie (France), January 13, 14 & 15, 2017

Sound engineer: Charles Frossard
Graphic Design: Yves Juillerat, Moutier (Switzerland)
Paintings reproductions by Peter Cox & Bridgeman Images
Thanks to Picasso Administration, Paris - Sandra Houel

Produced by UNITRIO
Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol

Pat Senatore Trio - Inspirations (FRESH SOUND RECORDS 2017)

Pat Senatore, the Artistic Director for Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel Air, California, performs there regularly and is a Fresh Sound Records artist, evolved over the last few years with his trio, featuring Josh Nelson on piano and Mark Ferber on drums.

It seems Senatore was destined to become a musician. It's in his DNA. His father grew up in Compania, Italy, singing Neapolitan folk songs in theaters. Pat followed a family tradition and studied violin as a child but it was not until he took up the bass and heard Scott LaFaro did he know for sure he wanted to be a jazz musician. His passion for jazz was so strong that he left the Julliard School of Music in New York after two years because it did not recognize jazz at the time.

He took his studies from the classroom to the rhythm section of various big bands. He toured the country with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. During his tenure with Kenton, he recorded Adventures in Blues, and Adventures in Jazz at Capitol Records. Having moved from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California he was happy to stay put in his new home long enough to work at the famed Coconut Grove with the Dick Stabile Orchestra. Then he joined the Les Brown Orchestra and went to Vietnam with Bob Hope. Upon returning, he performed with two weekly television shows: The Bob Hope Show and the Dean Martin Show.

Then he met Herb Alpert who asked him to join the original Tijuana Brass. In five years, they recorded nine albums, performed on all the major networks, including the legendary Ed Sullivan Show, did five TV Specials and numerous world tours, performing Command Performances for President Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II, and the King of Thailand.

After the Brass, Senatore continued performing throughout the world, performing with such artists as:  Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Louis Bellson, Buddy Rich, Anita O'Day, Gabor Szabo, Theresa Graves, Hampton Hawes, Kai Winding, Frank Sinatra... to mention a few. Read more...

01. Anthropology (Parker-Gillespie) 4:52
02. Miyako (Wayne Shorter) 6:27
03. Road Song (Wes Montgomery) 5:25
04. Laura (David Raksin) 3:57
05. Song of the Jet (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 7:10
06. The Duke (Dave Brubeck) 3:49
07. Fun Ride (Bill Evans) 4:07
08. Georgia on my Mind (Hoagy Carmichael) 6:09
09. The Theme (Miles Davis) 6:34
10. Two for the Road (Henry Mancini) 3:17

Pat Senatore (bass)
Tom Ranier (piano, bass clarinet on #6)
Christian Euman (drums)

Larry Koonse (guitar on #8)
Herb Alpert (trumpet on #4 & 8)

Recorded at Vibrato Grill Jazz, California, October & November 2016

Laurent De Wilde - New Monk Trio (2017)

A l’occasion du centenaire de la naissance du génial pianiste et compositeur Thelonious Monk, ce nouvel album de Laurent de Wilde lui est entièrement dédié. Ses compositions sont reprises et arrangées pour un trio acoustique de choc composé de Jérôme Regard à la contrebasse, Donald Kontomanou à la batterie et Laurent de Wilde au piano.

Dans New Monk trio, ces derniers proposent une lecture contemporaine du travail du pianiste, prouvant que sa modernité dépasse les limites du temps et continue d’agiter en profondeur les valeurs essentielles de la musique. Seule exception à la règle du répertoire : une composition de Laurent de Wilde en mémoire de Thelonious, Tune for T, qu’il interprète en piano solo. Read more...