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Mo'Fone

With its surprising and highly combustible line-up of two saxmen and one drummer, the Bay Area-based group Mo’Fone has thrilled audiences with some of the funkiest jazz—and jazziest funk—being played today. Powering its way through inventive high-energy original compositions, Mo’Fone explores the sonic landscape of its unique instrumentation with a relentless adventurousness, creating a huge sound that belies its compact size.

Combining serious musicianship with an infectious sense of fun onstage, Mo’Fone also manages to groove with abandon while keeping miraculously in balance, as each member of the band pushes his instrument well beyond its role in a more traditional trio. What’s more, Mo’Fone delivers adventurous riffs and grooves, while achieving a sound that’s not only accessible, but instantly addictive. Their groovy improvisations and original concept have earned them the award for Best Jazz Group in the 2008 & 2012 East Bay Express Readers’ Poll, and secured them repeated slots at the Monterey, San Francisco and Sonoma Jazz Festivals, in addition to gigs at the Bay Area’s premier live music venues.

“I was hooked from the first track,” wrote the Contra Costa Times of the band’s debut disc, Surf’s Up (Evander Music, 2003). “Mo’Fone proves it’s the biggest little band on the scene. On each piece, the trio finds ingenious ways of creating a full, multitextured, hard swinging sound.”

A healthy portion of that swinging sound comes from the mighty baritone sax and bass clarinet of Jim Peterson, alternating seamlessly between walking bass lines and powerful melodic riffs. A stalwart of the Bay Area scene for more than 20 years, Jim is a veteran of leading bands like Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s, Indigo Swing, and Motordude Zydeco. Soaring overhead on alto sax, clarinet and flute is Larry De La Cruz, whose own impressive résumé includes stints with Phil Woods, Bobby Hutcherson, the Temptations, Boca do Rio, and Doc Severinsen. Completing the Mo’Fone magic is drummer Jeremy Steinkoler, “a master of second line syncopation” (SF Bay Guardian) whose orchestral approach to the traps drives the trio’s turn-on-a-dime dynamics and gives Mo’Fone its third ceaselessly inventive solo voice.

As AllAboutJazz.com summed up the group’s exhilarating and cohesive sound: “This jazz trio is a powerhouse to be reckoned with.... If Mo'Fone doesn't blow your socks off, you're not paying attention.”

JEREMY STEINKOLER, “A very swinging drummer who’s mastered the art of coordinated independence,” (East Bay Express) has been playing drums professionally for over 25 years. His diverse musical experiences have led him to craft a a fresh and unmistakable style from an expansive range of influences, from classic New Orleans second-line street beats to Elvin Jones' 'circle of sound,' and is a powerful force driving Mo'Fone with an exciting and unpredictable approach to the drums.

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"A minimal but mighty romp!" -East Bay Express

"If Mo'Fone doesn't blow your socks off, you're not paying attention." - allaboutjazz.com

"One of the hottest bands to surface in a long while" -jazzwest.com

"My favorite album of the year by far" - Contra Costa Times

"Snaps and crackles like James Brown's Famous Flames mixed with a New Orleans second line." - jazzweekly.com

"Like a furious detachment of the Tower of Power horns." - ejazznews.com

"Mo'Fone puts the fun back in funk!" — JazzTimes

"A powerhouse to be reckoned with... in a word, Mo'Fone delivers!" - allaboutjazz.com

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

'Fonology

Evander Music
2014

buy

Sling Shot

Evander Music
2008

buy

Surf's Up

Evander Music
2004

buy

No Nugget

From: 'Fonology
By Mo'Fone

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