Sexmob

Sexmob is a band of the now: post-modern waltzes mutating into dub-echoed free jazz. Sexmob is social music: a rollicking midnight set with clatter and drinks and a band. Sexmob is a happy contradiction: an experimental jazz outfit whose music has slid readily into the mainstream via Saturday Night Live, MTV, and National Public Radio.

Dime Grind Palace is a house of deeply lasting pleasures: underground trombone legend Roswell Rudd bellowing and blowing over sweetly surprising changes. Dime Grind Palace is a house of sudden revelry: an accessible groove-etched hootenanny of frayed squawks and squeals.

The winners of two Downbeat Critics' Polls (Best Beyond Group, Best Acoustic Group) have made what bandleader and trumpeter Steven Bernstein calls his "dream record." After four LPs focusing on the songbooks of others (including Duke Ellington and James Bond composer John Barry), the seven-year running Sexmob has turned in an album of original material in their own unique voice, the result of an ongoing dialogue between master players (saxophonist Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wollesen) and a diverse palette of inspirations ranging from the Art Ensemble of Chicago to Dixieland to Little Richard. "The album is really about the evolution of the band," Bernstein says.

I wanted to make a record for music-heads," continues Bernstein, the man who the New York Times called a "rogue historian of jazz." "I think everyone has a music-head inside of them," he says. "I wanted to turn people on the way the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra record turned me on. It was real listenable, but there was all this slightly scary stuff going on there. It's not background music. And neither is this."

If anyone could fuse lovingly academic excursions with good time party music, it's Sexmob, who have found themselves in the weird and desirable niche as the downtown scene's late night hang of choice, a favorite of fans, musicians, and critics alike.

A good half-dozen musicians blew through the disc's raucous New York sessions last December: pianist and saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum (Hieroglyphics Ensemble, Trey Anastasio), slide guitarist David Tronzo (John Cale, Spanish Fly), mandolinist John Kruth (biographer of Roland Kirk), tubist Marcus Rojas (Henry Threadgill, Sly & Robbie), and clarinetist Doug Wieselman (Lounge Lizards), Mark Stewart (Bang On A Can All-Stars).

And then there was Rudd, whose presence brings Sexmob full circle. A longtime hero of Bernstein's (who, not coincidentally, played on the aforementioned Charlie Haden LP), Rudd is known as the father of free jazz trombone. "Roswell was kind of the original inspiration for the band," Bernstein says, who put Sexmob's original weekly gig together as a platform to work on his slide trumpet playing. With Rudd as a starting point, Sexmob developed a wholly original sound. As such, Dime Grind Palace is a pure dilution of that.

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"It doesn't get earthier than Sexmob...What matters is the fact that it catches the spirit, that infectious yet elusive Sexmob vibe." –Jazz Times

"This new project makes for a copacetic counterpart to the group's latest album, "Sex Mob Plays Fellini..." –Wall Street Journal

"Sexmob has been straddling the lines between genres for 17 years by incorporating popular tunes into instrumental jazz, and putting the emphasis on beats that move feet. Drummer Kenny Wollesen's funk rhythms, particularly of the New Orleans variety, create a party atmosphere, and Bernstein's visually striking slide trumpet doesn't hurt the hedonistic vibe that Sexmob conveys." –OregonLive.com

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Cultural Capital

Rex Records
2017

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Cinema, Circus &...

Royal Potato Family
2013

buy

Live In Willisau 2006

Knitting Factory Works
2009

buy

Sex Mob Meets Medeski

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2009

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Sexotica

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2006

buy

Dime Grind Palace

Knitting Factory Works
2003

buy

Exotique

From: Sexotica
By Sexmob

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