'Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band'
Hot Cup Records
He may be best known for his work with the irreverent jazz band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, but that's not nearly enough for Moppa Elliott. The bassist-composer is bursting with musical ideas, having just released a three-album set, "Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band," with three different groups.
Of all the music in the set, "Advancing on a Wild Pitch," the "Jazz Band" album, is the most straightforward, even retro in approach. But Elliott is just warming up. The "Dance Band" album, "Acceleration Due to Gravity," is wonderfully crazed, with great sax work by Matt Nelson, Bryan Murray and Kyle Saulnier. But my favorite is "Unspeakable Garbage," the "Rock Band" album, in which Elliott demonstrates his ability to write catchy tunes while maintaining enough of an off-kilter edge to keep his jazz cred intact. You can feel the fun these guys are having, when saxophonist Jon Irabagon takes off from Maceo Parker-style honking, soaring to late-Coltrane "Stellar Regions" heights.