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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. That said, the track "Martin Denny whistles and echoes a lounge feel over some trippy effects.
The group takes the track "Exotique as a slithering tick-tock affair. Bernstein's slide trumpet leads, flinging notes against the echoes of film noire and snippets of voice. (Think circus side show scary.) Likewise, Briggan Krauss drops some off-kilter saxophone language on the droopy-pulsed Luvin Blume before he duets with the echoes of Bernstein's horn. The machine beats of "Dick Contino's Blues drive the acoustic band into different feels of time, which actually slows and speeds with the engineer leaning on the turntable for effect!
Sexotica displays these musicians' talents in new and quite innovative ways, but Sex Mob's reverence for the irreverent remains in full effect.
Track Listing: Pygmy Suite; Martin Denny; Exotique; Luvin Blume; Quiet; Oakland; Dick Contino's Blues; Kid Rock Deluxe; 7 Bars.
Personnel: Steven Bernstein: slide trumpet, mellophones, vocals; Briggan Krauss: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Tony Scherr: acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, vocals; Kenny Wollesen: drums, percussion, bird whistles, vibraphone; Mike Dillon: tablas; Good and Evil (Danny Blume and Chris Kelly): programming hijinks.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.