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Top Ten "Most Read" Album Reviews: 2013

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All About Jazz tracks how often an album review is read, and the reviews listed below represent our top ten published in 2013. Sex Mob Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sex Mob Plays Fellini) Wayne Shorter Quartet Wayne Shorter Quartet: Without a Net John Scofield John Scofield: Uberjam Deux Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette Somewhere Pat Metheny Pat Metheny: Tap--John Zorn's Book of Angels | Vol. 20 Chris Potter Chris Potter: The Sirens Pat Metheny Pat Metheny: Tap--John Zorn's Book of ...

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Sex Mob: Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sex Mob Plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota)

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Founded 17 years ago as a showcase for leader Steven Bernstein's unique slide trumpet, Sex Mob has since embraced a far more ambitious mission: to revive the adventurous spirit of prewar jazz. Bernstein realized early on that playing radically altered covers was the best way to lure an audience into his roguish sound world. Since then the group has deconstructed and reworked everything from ABBA's “Fernando" to the “Macarena," while 2001's Sex Mob Does Bond (Ropeadope) was dedicated solely to avant-garde interpretations of John Barry's iconic movie soundtracks.The primary inspiration behind Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sex Mob Plays ...

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Sex Mob: Sexmob Meets Medeski live in Willisau 2006

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How best to describe slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein's singular quartet Sex Mob? Maybe we should start with mercurial musical magician Bernstein himself, whose exotic career as sideman, musical director, arranger and composer has included ten years with John Lurie's Lounge Lizards and stints alongside everyone from Bill Frisell to Sam Rivers, the Flying Karamazov Brothers and, oh yes, Bootsy Collins. Or maybe we should look at his career as bandleader, which includes the trumpet-slide guitar-tuba trio Spanish Fly and the boisterous, cataclysmic nine-piece Millennial Territory Orchestra. Or maybe we should just listen to Bernstein's own summing up of Sex Mob ...

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Sex Mob: Sex Mob Meets Medeski

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The two-minute “Mob Rule Invocation," which starts Sex Mob Meets Medeski, is enough to turn the tables on conventional jazz quintet genre, pointing the way to bridge the gap between the melodic and music that is so squarely and pristinely raucous that its intention is measurable in the fun the musicians are clearly having.

Recorded live at the Willisau Jazz Festival in 2006, this album reaches across a spectrum from spontaneous improvisation to pieces from Duke Ellington and Count Basie, pop artist Prince and 007 film composer John Barry. The original Sex Mob quartet of drummer Kenny Wollesen, bassist Tony ...

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Sex Mob: Sexotica

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Sexotica showcases a unique band performing in an even more unique genre. Sex Mob, New York City's best band, according to a 2000 poll, has made a name for itself with jumping live shows and pop song-full setlists. Led by trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the quartet draws on the music of exotica pioneer Martin Denny for this sultry recording.

In addition to Bernstein, Sex Mob features altoist Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. The band turned to the production team of Good and Evil to give this record an electronically glossy Blue Series touch. Matthew Shipp's Good and ...

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Sex Mob: Sexotica

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The easy listening boom of the middle 20th Century gave rise to some highly esoteric music. The “space age" fashions embraced by many a swinger hinted at a future that was never to materialize; an eagerness to test out new hi-fi systems resulted in a proliferation of quirkily arranged, bizarrely mixed records by bandleaders like Esquivel and Enoch Light. Among the strangest subgenres to emerge during this period was exotica, spearheaded by Martin Denny, who unashamedly regarded his music as “window dressing."

Many Americans, WASPs in particular, had a severely limited awareness of outside cultures, and exotica thrived on this ...

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Sex Mob: Sexotica

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The only way to out-mob Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob is to go into the studio (as laboratory) and manipulate its sound. Sexotica is the group's fifth full-length release and its debut on Thirsty Ear Records, a label which has no hesitation to throw in handfuls of Teo Macero. The sampling and studio production by Good and Evil boost Sex Mob's kung fu to new levels, channeling it into some “alternate universe"-fu.

Sexotica follows Dime Grind Palace (Ropeadope, 2003), a party record recorded with a live feel. Here, the band and producers pay tribute to exotica's hero, Martin Denny. ...

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Sex Mob: Sexotica

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Sex Mob, a riotous avant party band, dedicates its fourth album to the father of exotica, Martin Denny. The group dabbled in subtle electronic production techniques with renowned hip-hop producer Scotty Hard on 2003's Dime Store Grind (Ropeadope). Assisted by the production team of GoodandEvil (Danny Blume and Chris Castagno), Sex Mob travels further afield here into electro-acoustic soundscapes.

While plumbing the depths of exotica for inspiration may seem a bit passé--the mid-1990s were the high point of retro-lounge nostalgia--Sex Mob's interpretation of Denny's music and exotica in general is wholly original. The group's deviant take on his ...

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Steve Bernstein's Sex Mob: Dime Grind Palace

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Steven Bernstein and Sex Mob, still the perfect antidote to the sometimes overly cerebral jazz scene, are back with Dime Grind Palace. Not that the music is inconsequential--it features stellar playing from the Mob and their friends--but it strives for emotional energy and a good time over chin-stroking. The Mob consists of slide-trumpet virtuoso Bernstein, saxophone torturer Briggan Krauss, upright bass thumper Tony Scherr, and alchemist drummer Kenny Wollesen. Unlike previous Mob discs, Dime Grind Palace features mostly original Bernstein tunes. Among the many guest performers, trombonist Roswell Rudd and multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum stand out, each contributing to most of ...

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Sex Mob: Dime Grind Palace

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Sex Mob has always been more vaudeville than Lincoln Center Jazz. But they are also, I would argue, more Ellingtonian than Wynton and his Duke-wannabes.

The far-flung outfit was started in 1998 by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein as a vehicle for his popular culture standup jazz act. Before The Bad Plus and Brad Mehldau thought to cover pop tunes, Sex Mob was twisting the macarena and the music of Prince and Nirvana into jazz vehicles. His earlier gigs with the Lounge Lizards, Kamikaze Ground Crew, and Spanish Fly forecasted this evolution. But he also ties these "covers" ...

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Sex Mob: Sex Mob Does Bond

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Exactly, what does this terror-filled world require? Simply stated two words (actually three), Bond, James Bond. Saving the world, or in this case the popular entertainment world, is the band Sex Mob. Their take on the music of James Bond is more Chris Farley then Sean Connery. Where Bond composer John Barry oozed 1960 and 70s hip, Sex Mob reach for twenty-first century camp. Leader Steven Bernstein mines a sort of modern vaudeville in his music. His trumpet and musical direction have graced recordings by They Might Be Giants, Lounge Lizards, Don Byron and soundtracks like Get Shorty and Robert ...

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Sex Mob: Solid Sender

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If the networks decide to bring back the sixties' television show Laugh-In, the house band would definitely be the quartet Sex Mob. Steven Bernstein's creation is pure burlesque with a punk downtown attitude. Armed with a slide trumpet and a fistful of musical cliches, Bernstein tackles the standards. But not necessarily jazz standards. Sex Mob reworks James Brown, Nirvana, The Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, CSN&Y, and Abba. Yes, Abba! I had almost forgotten about the chart topping “Fernando." But our heroes, as they did with “Macarena" on their first disc Din Of Inequity, saves songs we ...



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