Skip to main content

Solo Bass Release: Moppa Elliott's 'Still, Up In The Air' & Live Date February 16 2016 in Brooklyn


From a media release:

Hot Cup Records Releases Still, Up In the Air
Debut Solo Album by Bassist Moppa Elliott
Elliott Celebrates in Concert
Tuesday, February 16 at Shapeshifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY

Hot Cup Records is proud to release Still, Up in the Air, the first solo album by bassist Moppa Elliott. The album was recorded on February 16, 2015 at St. Stephen's Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a space that has served as the venue for several other Hot Cup releases.  Primarily known as the leader of the ensemble, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Elliott demonstrates both his mastery of the double-bass and his personal approach to solo improvisation.  The recording will be released on February 12, 2016 and Moppa celebrates with a concert on February 16 at Shapeshifter Lab in a concert that includes MOPDtK and solo sets by Moppa.

There is a long and storied history of solo bass recordings and Still, Up in the Air adds something new.  While the influence of Barre Phillips, Malachi Favors, Dave Holland, and Barry Guy cannot be ignored, the music on this recording is an attempt by Elliott to improvise in a way that eschews the typical conventions of linear, developmental forms favored by many other players. Elliott cites authors such as David Foster Wallace and Milorad Pavic as influences on his non-linear approach, as both create books that prevent the reader from progressing sequentially from page to page.  Elliott's performances on Still, Up In the Air jump from idea to idea rapidly in order to simulate a similar effect.  Elliott also drew inspiration from the 20th century's Cubist painters to create disjunctive forms that shift in perspective without assembling a unified whole.

Elliott's approach to the double-bass in a solo context incorporates not only all of the standard pizzicato and arco techniques of traditional bass playing, but also explores his own wide vocabulary of extended techniques including several new approaches to polyphony.  The variety of articulations used, both arco and pizzicato, enable him to cover a vast range of sonic space in a single improvisation.  All of the music was recorded live and the album includes a single edit, splicing together "Sequence Six" and "Sequence Twelve" into a single track.  Each piece draws on Elliott's experience performing in a wide variety of contexts including jazz, solo recitals, orchestral playing, and improvised music.  This recording offers the listener both an opportunity to hear Elliott's unique and personalized language of solo improvisation as well as another side of his well-established musical personality.

Moppa Elliott is best known as the composer, bassist, and bandleader for the widely heralded band "Mostly Other People Do the Killing."  The ensemble recently won the El Intruso Critics' Poll in the "Best Band to Hear Live" category and released Mauch Chunk, their eighth studio album.  In 2014, MOPDtK released Blue, a note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis' masterpiece Kind of Blue.  In addition to performing, Elliott runs the Hot Cup Records label and teaches music at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY.

Moppa Elliott plays a late 19th century Bohemian bass and uses a CODA Bow carbon fiber bow. The recording was made using Ron Stabinsky's CAD Equitek E110 stereo microphones and the "Realist" pickup by David Gage.

Sequence Three, the first track

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:

POLINA SEMIONOVA TO APPEAR AS GUEST ARTIST
WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
FOR 2011 SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Lithuanian Rock: Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories (Independent / November 20, 2019)

Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories
(Independent / November 20, 2019)
Stream it on Spotify
The Album "Backstage Stories" 2xLP & CD

Robertas Semeniukas is a great find if you like your rock with a hard edge and a strong groove. Naturally, guitar reigns supreme, with a sound that ranges from snarly to fluid and melodic, and virtuosic chops to keep everything interesting. You don't have to understand Lithuanian to enjoy the well-crafted songs and polished musicianship.

Of the 20 tracks, 8 are instrumental. This is rock in what you'd call a classic vein, heavily influenced by 1980s and 1990s bands, but with a modern gloss to it, and a sense of musical experimentation that isn't often associated with that era in Western pop music. Robertas wrote or co-wrote all the tracks except for one cover, the blues composition You Gotta Move by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Within the rock/metal genre, the prolific composer, singer and musician mines a variety of moods. So…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

Blues/Rock:
The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…