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Sex Mob: Cultural Capital

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Golden House"

Sex Mob celebrates 20-years in the business going back to their initial 1996 gigs at New York City's downtown music scene hub, The Knitting Factory. With its first album in four-years, the band jubilantly returns via its crisscrossing of jazz with pop, funk and other genres, complemented by witty dialogues, mischievous improv sequences and treks into the free zone. Unlike previous programs this album consists of all slide trumpeter, Steven Bernstein originals. To a certain degree, Sex Mob's distinct stylizations brand the group into its own musical persona, where listeners can often expect the unexpected, and rules are meant to be broken. Here, the musicians' diverse manifesto marches onward amid these 13-concise works that impart separate storylines, largely framed on tuneful choruses.

The group pays a little reverence to New Orleans with a shuffle beat, funk-induced second-line groove on "Golden House," where the musicians punch out the primary theme and saxophonist Briggan Krauss doubles up on electric guitar. Complete with bluesy slants, contrapuntal maneuvers and Krauss's serrated sax phrasings, you can visualize the ensemble leading a flock of dancers down Bourbon Street. However, they pump it up during the bridge, abetted by the hornists' cantankerous soloing as drummer Kenny Wolleson uses his mallets during an interlude that shifts the melody into a reverse- engineering process towards closeout. Once again, Sex Mob translucently intertwines an artful rite of passage, spotted with cinematic visualizations, and its personalized line of attack. Welcome back!

Track Listing: Street; Step Apache; Bari Si; Helmland; 4 Cents; Syrup; Giant Minds; Valentino; Golden House; Lacy; Hear You; SF; Briggan.

Personnel: Steven Bernstein: slide trumpet, alto horn; Briggan Krauss: alto and baritone saxophones; Tony Scherr: acoustic and electronical bass, guitar; Kenny Wolleson: drums, percussion.

Title: Cultural Capital | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Rex Records

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