The New York City Jazz Record’s review by Clifford Allen

Mostly Other People Do the Killing – The Coimbra Concert (CF 214)
Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPDtK) is a quartet that’s endemic of the delicate balance between technique, experience and knowledge that is continually at play in this music. Fed by the unwavering pulse of chief composer Moppa Elliott’s usually pizzicato bass and the crisp, roiling flash of Kevin Shea’s drums (not as much random caterwaul as one might assume), the frontline is split between saxist Jon Irabagon and trumpeter Peter Evans, two players who push the limits of traditional tonality in their instruments but who nevertheless maintain a steely reserve throughout. The real irony beyond their choice of artwork/image, punning titles (on four albums prior to The Coimbra Concert) and so forth is that behind all that MOPDtK are a focused and often coolly adept quartet powering through traditional reference and contemporary, immediate exploration at an often breakneck pace. Evans works in areas that pit fat, golden swagger, harrier flurries and muscular jounce against an equally intense, micro-sonic conception and in some ways could be seen as the quartet’s Lester Bowie figure considering how his runs trigger evocations from early small-group swing to stratospheric freedom. Irabagon’s tenor playing is measured, tensile post-Sam Rivers work while his sopranino on “Blue Ball”/“A Night in Tunisia” is a tour de force of circular breathing. MOPDtK are somewhat reminiscent of the Clusone Trio without being as historically strict; suite-like improvisations encapsulate action/motion and reference, albeit with a surgically exacting sensibility.

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