Cadence Magazine review by Michael Coyle

This is MOPDTK’s first live album—and it’s a doozy. Two CDs recorded over two days. The recording quality is excellent; were it not for applause at the end of track I wouldn’t know I was hearing a live date. More importantly, the music is vibrant. The music is intense. The music is endlessly inventive and playful—as one might anticipate from the band-written liner notes, reproduced here in full:“Each track listed here is titled after the composition by Moppa with which it opens. Many other songs and musical ele-ments, by Moppa and otherwise, appear and disappear over the course of each performance. In the interest of space and convenience, they are not listed. In fact, every note and sound in this recording is a reference to some other recording or per-formance, real or imaginary.”Listeners who have followed MOPDTK for any part of the past eight years will recognize this parody of Jazz commentary. It’s there too in the cover photo—a send-up of ’s The Köln Concert—the famous black and white photo framed by a white border. There is of course no piano in MOPDTK; neither is there any corollary for Jarrett’s tasteful lyricism or controlled crescendos. It’s a joke—but it’s all in earnest. I’m not clever enough to catch all the allusions mentioned above (except maybe the imaginary ones), but even casual listeners will notice how “A Night in Tunisia” develops within “Blue Ball,” or “Burning Well” contains “Love Is Here To Stay,” or “Night Train” shows up in the course of “Factoryville.” This album is quite simply just great fun. The musicians sound like they’re having as good a time as anyone could possibly have and still con-tinue playing their instruments. All four of them sound at the top of their games. All four of them seem to have the whole history of Jazz at their fingertips, and in the passage of just a couple minutes you might hear swing, bop, something from the shape of Jazz to come—and yet the music always feels organic and never freezes into mere pastiche. These guys can wail without stumbling into sonic assault. It’s gonna be awhile before this killer album leaves my CD player.
©Cadence Magazine 2011,

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