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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 love to hate. Sex Mob is pure theater. Bernstein comes from the entertaining Lounge Lizards and They Might Be Giants. Kenny Wolleson's resume includes John Zorn, Tom Waits, and The New Klezmer Trio.
If there were a disappointing aspect of this disc, it would be the lack of solo space for Briggan Krauss. The alto saxophonist, a veteran of Wayne Horvitz's bands, is combination of John Zorn and Peter Brotzmann. Where Sex Mob leads us is to a surreal circus world. Together with a string section and DJ Logic, they produce music that is, dare I say, very interesting.
Track Listing: Solid Sender; About A Girl; Fernando; Human Bidet Part 1; The Mooch; Rear View; Human Bidet Part 2; Crazy Beat/Don’t Be Cruel; Ripple; The Grind; Human Bidet Part 3; For What It’s Worth; Human Bidet Part 4; Ruby Tuesday; Please, Please, Please; Human Bidet Part 5; Not Boweevil; Human Bidet Part 6; Billy Preston.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.