Reviews that mention Moppa Elliott

April 12, 2019

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord

Harder on the Outside
Hot Cup Records 181

Combining improvisational smarts with rhythmic grooves, guitarist Jon Lundbom and his New York-based Big Five Chord (BFC) have churned out another set of tracks that you can play for your Rock, Roots and Metal loving friends without aggravating pure Jazz associates. That’s because beneath the appropriate foot-tapping bombast are finely honed concepts.

Assisted by band members who have worked with everyone from Randy Brecker to David Byrne, BFC inhabit the vortex where Albeert Ayler and Link Wray may have found common ground. At the same time while the guitarist can shred and splinter frails with the best, he also exhibits easygoing chromatic picking when needed. Saxophonists Justin Wood, who plays alto and soprano and Bryan Murray who plays tenor and balto! (sic) are involved in intricate contrapuntal strategies when not honking and shronking. Moppa Elliot’s thick double-bass thwacks propel the beat while drummer Dan Monaghan shades the tunes with rim shots and bounces as much as his rugged smacks drive them. MORE

February 6, 2015

Jon Lundbom Big Five Chord

Jeremiah
Hot Cup 142

By Ken Waxman

Happily Jon Lundbom is a guitarist. For if the leader of Big Five Chord played a horn he might have trouble improvising with his tongue stuck firmly in his check. Composer and chief instigator of Jeremiah’s seven tracks, the now Austin-based Lundbom, like his Hot Cup label mate and Big Five Chord bassist Moppa Elliott, creates hard-swinging tunes that also have a sardonic edge.

Chief sidekick in providing these sly sonic winks as the tunes are performed is saxophonist Bryan Murray, leader of the country/jazz unit Bryan & the Haggards, of which the guitarist is also a member. Throughout Murray emphasizes the disruptive qualities of his horns, with the timbres from tenor saxophone and balto! saxophone – an alto with a baritone mouthpiece and a plastic reed – snarling and stretching sandpaper-like tones as if he’s bar-walking in the funkiest roadhouse imaginable. Prime example of this is on “First Harvest” as the tenor’s hard-edged growl leaps out to toughen up the meandering melody. Also in on the mordant japes in this, the Five Chords’ seventh CD, are soprano saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Sam Kulik and Justin Wood on alto saxophone and flute. Drummer Dan Monaghan and Elliott keep the beat constantly shifting between shuffle and swing. Meantime another of the session's highlights occurs on “Scratch Ankle”, where a thrilling exchange of unbridled enthusiasm between the trombonist’s drooling, gutbucket smears and Irabagon’s slippery nasality is framed by controlled melodic lines. MORE

September 14, 2013

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Red Hot
Hot Cup HC 125

By Ken Waxman

Trumpeter Peter Evans, who along with drummer Weasel Walter, bassist Tom Blancarte and pianist Charity Chan is featured at a Punk-Jazz-Improv concert at the Array Music space on September 4, has quickly become one of jazz’s most in-demand and versatile brass men. Proficient elsewhere playing atonal music, this CD by an expanded version of the co-op Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDtK) group finds the New York-based brass man helping to create a respectful but sophisticated take on early jazz. That Evans has mammoth chops is without question, and you can note that on Zelienople, where following a wood-block [!] break from drummer Kevin Shea, Evans’ open-horn exposition is bird-song sweet at one instance and growly as a wart hog by the next. Meanwhile on Orange is the Name of the Town, he fires off triplet patterns after triplet patterns with aplomb. MORE

July 4, 2013

Festival Report:

JazzWeksttatt Peitz
By Ken Waxman

More than 40 years after East Germany’s so-called free jazz paradise regularly attracted Woodstock-sized crowds to this town, about 20 kilometres from the Polish border – and three years after it was revived after a 29-year government-nudged hiatus – JazzWeksttatt Peitz is still working to define its identity

Celebrated in its earlier days as perhaps the one place young East Germans could camp in the open air and experience Western-styled peace and love vibes, albeit with a jazz rather than a rock soundtrack, the festival celebrated its 50th program June 7-9, inviting 21 acts to perform in four different venues, with “open air” now an enclosed tent with rows of chairs. MORE

April 29, 2010

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Forty Fort
Hot Cup 091

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord

Accomplish Jazz

Hot Cup 093

Pastiche, post-modernism and parody are the words that come to mind when examining discs by these youngish interconnected improvisers. Having expanded their chops in post-secondary academic surroundings; having internalized the message of downtowners like John Zorn that no music is sacrosanct; and having adopted the D-I-Y ethic of indie-rockers to release their own recordings – plus possessing formidable talent – these musicians have quickly made names for themselves. Yet as swinging and entertaining as many of the tracks are on these CDs – and they are that in spades – the question of what the next step should be for these seven players hangs in the air. MORE

April 29, 2010

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord

Accomplish Jazz
Hot Cup 093

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

Forty Fort

Hot Cup 091

Pastiche, post-modernism and parody are the words that come to mind when examining discs by these youngish interconnected improvisers. Having expanded their chops in post-secondary academic surroundings; having internalized the message of downtowners like John Zorn that no music is sacrosanct; and having adopted the D-I-Y ethic of indie-rockers to release their own recordings – plus possessing formidable talent – these musicians have quickly made names for themselves. Yet as swinging and entertaining as many of the tracks are on these CDs – and they are that in spades – the question of what the next step should be for these seven players hangs in the air. MORE

February 8, 2009

Jon Irabagon

Outright!
Innova Records 699

Mostly Other People Do the Killing

This Is Our Moosic

Hot Cup 082

Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, who migrated from suburban Chicago to Astoria, Queens, working with different bands in clubs and studying music along the way, won the 21st annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition last October. On the evidence of these CDs, it’s easy to see why.

Possessed of an upfront style, strong chops and a thorough understanding of the tradition, Irabagon composes swinging and sometimes complex tunes and is a mainstream polymath who obviously impressed representatives of the jazz establishment who hand out awards. No show-boater, the reedist takes only slightly more solo space on his debut session as he gets on This Is Our Moosic and is surrounded on both discs by the highest grade of young New York-centred talent. Overall though, he fares better as one interlocking clog of bassist Moppa Elliott’s extravagantly named Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK), then on his own. MORE

February 8, 2009

Mostly Other People Do the Killing

This Is Our Moosic
Hot Cup 082

Jon Irabagon

Outright!

Innova Records 699

Alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, who migrated from suburban Chicago to Astoria, Queens, working with different bands in clubs and studying music along the way, won the 21st annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition last October. On the evidence of these CDs, it’s easy to see why.

Possessed of an upfront style, strong chops and a thorough understanding of the tradition, Irabagon composes swinging and sometimes complex tunes and is a mainstream polymath who obviously impressed representatives of the jazz establishment who hand out awards. No show-boater, the reedist takes only slightly more solo space on his debut session as he gets on This Is Our Moosic and is surrounded on both discs by the highest grade of young New York-centred talent. Overall though, he fares better as one interlocking clog of bassist Moppa Elliott’s extravagantly named Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK), then on his own. MORE