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Friday, February 20, 2015 // 8:00PM

Ars Nova Workshop Presents: Mostly Other People Do the Killing

$15 general admission

The Philadelphia Art Alliance is pleased to welcome Ars Nova Workshop as they welcome New York “terrorist bebop” quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing back to Philadelphia.

Voted Downbeat magazine's Rising Star Ensemble in 2009, the group has established a reputation for subversion, deconstructing standards and their own material through deliberately erratic experimentation and a humorous performance style. Led by bassist Moppa Elliott, tonight’s group features saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition, Kevin Shea, named 2012's Best Drummer by the Village Voice, and Ron Stabinsky on piano.

MOPDtK formed in 2003, although founding members Elliott and trumpeter Peter Evans began playing together in 1998 as students at Oberlin Conservatory. In the liner notes to the band’s 2004 self-titled debut, Elliott states the band’s philosophy: “I would rather make music that uses jazz’s identity crisis against it, piling as many nonsensical musical associations together as possible to create music that is aware of its own inconsistencies, ironies and contradictions and likes it that way”. Elliott makes it clear he is avoiding the idea of “jazz as repertory” -“I like my jazz with some dirt on it,” he says before adding, “Bring out the mud. Standing on the shoulders of giants makes it easier to kick them in the teeth.”

Slippery Rock! (2013), their latest studio recording of original material, was inspired by smooth jazz recordings of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. But as always, references to a wide range of styles, performers and composers – ranging from Haydn and Kool and the Gang to Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith and Philip Glass – are present in the music.

This past year, MOPDtK released Blue, a note-for-note reproduction of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, on Elliott's Hot Cup label.