Deconstructing jazz standards and original compositions, weaving in and out of styles erratically and often humorously, Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK) is led by bassist and composer Moppa Elliot and features Peter Evans, trumpet, Jon Iragabon, saxophone and Kevin Shea, drums. “Bolstered by a youthful visceral intensity,” writes All About Jazz, “the mercurial quartet has a historically aware yet stylistically irreverent take on the jazz tradition.”
Mostly Other People Do the Killing formed in the fall of 2003 in New York City. Moppa Elliott met Peter Evans in 1998 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where both studied. Upon relocating to New York, Elliott met Jon Irabagon and Kevin Shea. Mostly Other People Do the Killing recorded its first eponymous album during the summer of 2004 and released it on Elliott’s Hot Cup label.
“There’s a bustling, ostentatious impiety in the music of Mostly Other People Do the Killing,” writes The New York Times. “It’s a jazz quartet with a diligent grasp of history but an anarchic take on convention.”
Their most recent release, Forty Fort (Hot Cup), is their fourth. By 2009, they had been voted the winners of the DownBeat Critics’ Poll in the Rising Star Ensemble category, and Evans, Irabagon, and Elliott had been mentioned in their respective categories Jon Irabagon won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition in 2008, while Peter Evans released his second solo trumpet album on Evan Parker’s psi label. The quartet made its first trip to Europe in May 2009 participating in the Moers Festival, Jazzores and Enjoy Jazz Festivals.
“While the music is thoroughly modern,” writes Cadence, “it references the heyday of New Orleans-style barn burners and several other eras. Evans and Irabagon…thread free passages cleverly into the traditional sounds of the earlier genres. Elliott adds the glue to keep the songs – all his compositions – in tight confinement. He lays down vibrant rhythms around which the horns jostle and cajole taking the pieces to riotous levels while maintaining reference points to earlier periods to depict the illustrious evolution of Jazz.”