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The first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing features bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, pianist Ron Stabinsky, and drummer Kevin Shea, with each composition named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title, with one apt Duke Ellington cover.
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Label: Hot Cup
Catalog ID: Hot Cup 171
Squidco Product Code: 25008
Recorded at Oktaven Audio, in Mount Vernon, New York, on March 13th, 2017, by Ryan Streber.
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1. Yellow House 6:11
2. Orangeville 5:37
3. Black Horse 6:28
4. Blue Goose 5:02
5. Plum Run 5:49
6. Green Briar 3:36
7. Golden Hill 7:04
8. Whitehall 6:54
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"No sooner had Mostly Other People Do the Killing expanded to a septet with Loafer's Hollow (Hot Cup Records, 2017) than they shrink to their smallest formation to date with the trio release Paint. Founding member, bassist, and composer Moppa Elliott is joined by pianist Ron Stabinsky and drummer Kevin Shea. Trumpeter Peter Evans had departed the group before its 2015 Mauch Chunk album and now without Jon Irabagon's alto saxophone in the lineup, the sound takes a very different form. But convention has never been the MOPDtK modus operandi and this piano trio is hardly traditional.
Stabinsky, became a regular member of MOPDtK with Mauch Chunk having previously performed with the group live in 2013 and on the Hot Cup album Blue (2014). The label (under Elliott's leadership) also produced the pianist's solo outing Free for One in 2016 as well as Elliott's solo album Still, Up In The Air. Both of those releases are examples of the astute use of texture, melody, and improvisation but are very different in nature compared to Paint.
Elliott wrote seven of the eight compositions with the sole cover being Duke Ellington's "Blue Goose." As usual, the titles are linked to locations in Pennsylvania-this time with a secondary color-coded "paint" theme. The album opens in high spirits with the multiple themes of "Yellow House" where Stabinsky's mastery of phrasing, complex harmony, and free playing finds a platform. The pianist rapidly drops torrents of notes through the otherwise bluesy "Orangeville," slowing down to allow Elliott an impressive lead spot. The blues figure prominently in sections of "Black Horse" and more so on the excellent "Plum Run" after it sheds its early waltz specs. "Golden Hill" may go down in MOPDtK history as their musical outlier, if only because it is consistently closer to the jazz tradition. The album closes with "Whitehall," a piece that Elliott originally called "Blue Goose" and changed after learning of the Ellington composition.
Stabinsky is naturally the cornerstone in this setting and he is superb, but Elliott and Shea have ample opportunity to stand out. Shea is unconstrained, providing continuity and seismic shifts in equal measure. His decisively chaotic method is a pleasure to hear in this less cluttered environment. Elliott's basslines are beautifully resonant, his voicings vibrant. There's little rationale for talking about Paint in the context of other MOPDtK albums given the unique spectacle of sound that defines the larger group. Taken on its own merits, the trio works within taut compositional structures while still expressing boisterous independence; the intense free improvisations are well-placed, sharp and focused. Paint is one of the best trio albums of the year and highly recommended."-Karl Ackermann, all About Jazz
Get additional information at All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Ron Stabinsky
"Ron Stabinsky recently released his debut album, Free for One, the culmination of more than a decade of evolving his improvised solo language. In addition to continuing to pursue his ongoing interest in solo piano improvisation, he enjoys working on music in a stylistically diverse array of situations throughout the United States and Europe with many other musicians and ensembles, including free-improvising saxophonist Jack Wright, bass trombone virtuoso David Taylor, Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood, and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman. Recent festival appearances include Newport Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Moers Festival (Germany), Jazzfestival Saalfelden (Austria), Outreach Festival (Austria), and Jazz and More Festival Sibiu (Romania). He is currently a regular member of the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the new music ensemble Relâche, the Charles Evans Quartet, and the Peter Evans Quintet."-Ron Stabinsky 10/11/2017
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• Show Bio for Moppa Elliott
"A short biography from the artist:
I was born on September 13, 1978, the first son of David and Carolyn Elliott in Scranton, Pa. Incidentally, they named me Matthew Thomas Elliott, not Moppa. My parents are both college instructors and intense music lovers, so I was able to hear a lot of music growing up. After a brief introduction to the piano, I started to play the trombone in the sixth grade, and after deciding a few years later that I wanted to also play an instrument with strings, I was given an electric bass. When I was about 17, I fixed up my father's old acoustic bass in order to audition for a summer program. I then began to study the bass seriously with Pocono resident Tony Marino. In the fall of 1997, I enrolled in both Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music majoring in biology and Jazz bass performance in Oberlin's double-degree program. While there I was able to record my first CD, Pinpoint and to gain some experience playing in Cleveland OH for about 3 years. I was also fortunate enough to teach at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts for four summers. I finished school in the winter of 2001, and moved to New York City the following summer. Here in New York, I have been able to play and record with some great musicians and to continue teaching at St. Mary's High School."-Moppa Elliott Website (http://www.moppaelliott.com/who.html)
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• Show Bio for Kevin Shea
"Kevin Shea is valued as being a vital and original artist in the contemporary music scene. Shea's originality is manifested not only by his personal approach to his instrument, but also throughout his constant search for new musical horizons unifying all the bands he has been involved in despite the parameters set for musicians by genre definition, or by historical icons.
The plurality of rigorous artistic aspirations and creative engagement that distinguish the discography of Kevin Shea are not the product of chance or merely taking advantage of opportunities -- but the result of labor, strong convictions, and a strong conceptual support -- a deliberate search for transitional territories away from the dogmas of boring and unnecessary conventions.
Shea's artistic interests are rooted in reevaluating what a band/music, musician/performer, artist and audience can and should be. Splitting the difference between passion and song, Shea plays multi-dimensional utopian sound in which opposing musical forces integrate to form a new sustainable recipe for sound and social implication. Remaining devoted to his belief that the application of sonic diversity is paramount to the appreciation of human diversity, Shea's ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion -- an approach perpetuating audiences, listeners, and sometimes fellow band members, to face, question, define, and attempt to defend their own level of tolerance and compassion head-on, no-holds-barred.
Through this carefully planned direct method in the round, Shea's sonic investigations emphatically traverse the mobius strip highway of refurbished canticles, perpetually climaxing between Sadean semelparity and Platonic resurrection. At the heart of Shea's dialectical core, unabashed artifacts of rhythmic iconoclasm conjoin with anthemic melody gestures and modern memory loss to create a vital force that gives us bittersweet contemplation and empathy.
As a youth, Shea moved throughout the States many times, transforming any of his formal expectations into a joyous foundation of constant flux. He learned that intuition and customs had to be constantly re-evaluated and negotiated rather than held as sacred. This process of questioning is central to Shea's music. To him, sound is a result of a broader process rather than formulas tied to notions of predictable emotional response. Shea sees sound and music, not as a prize, but a simple aspect of banal daily life.
Kevin Shea has over 25 years of experience as a professional drummer, composer and performer. He has recorded on over 120 albums in a mish-mash of contexts and has performed in over 40 countries. His training started in public elementary school and continued steadily through his college years at Berklee College of Music."-Kevin Shea website (http://www.kevinshea.info/)
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