Mostly Other People Do the Killing, "Loafer's Hollow" (Hot Cup)
When they came to be featured in the Albright-Knox Art of Jazz Series, the nuttily named jazz group Mostly Other People Do The Killing revealed exactly how lunatic their particular brand of top shelf jazz postmodernism can be. They've done it repeatedly on record ever since, including a virtual note-for-note version of Miles Davis' uber-classic "Kind of Blue" in tribute to Borges' short story "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" (which served as the disc's liner notes).
You'd think that a septet disc that has titles dedicated to writers James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy and David Foster Wallace would be about as smart and hip as a jazz record can be. Whether the record is all of that is irrelevant. Because there is simply a point when any smart group in any kind of music can outsmart itself and put itself right out of esthetic business, so to speak.
Despite the stalwart musicians in the group--bassist Moppa Elliott, saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Ron Stabinsky--that's what happens here. This particular fusion of classic jazz, literary smart-aleckry and postmodern jazzmaking amounts, ultimately, to a good deal less than meets the ear.
2 1/2 stars (out of four)