Friday, December 3, 2010

Sex Mob

Slide trumpet madman Steven Bernstein's New York-based outfit Sex Mob (with Briggan Krauss on alto sax, Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums) isn't your father's jazz group. The Knitting Factory regulars specialize in a subversive brand of acid jazz with pop cult references ranging from New Orleans swing to spy soundtracks, from bachelor pad exotica to rock acts as disparate as Prince and Nirvana.

Simply put by Bernstein himself: "Jazz used to be popular music. People would go out to clubs, listen to the music, go home, and get laid. Simple as that. We're bringing that spirit back."

Thanks in part of its raucous live shows, Sex Mob has done just that over the course of a decade, during which they've released six albums, starting with the aptly named Din of Inequity ('98), followed by Solid Sender ('00), Sex Mob Does Bond ('01), Dime Grind Palace ('03), Sexotica ('06), Sex Mob Meets Medeski: Live in Willisau ('09).

On record, Sex Mob cooks up a seedy, sleazy, sordid vibe of drunken depravity — and that's what's great about it! The sound of Sex Mob is slightly unhinged, as if the musicians have escaped from an insane asylum, only to join a kinky carnival. Don't get me wrong though — there's sense to the insensibility. Taken out of context (as when your iPod shuffles to random tracks like "Call to the Freaks" and "Pygmy Suite") Sex Mob can disrupt your train of thought like the sudden appearance of a drag queen at GOP fundraiser. But taken in its natural element — the dedicated listen – Sex Mob will free you from your pedestrian notions of socially acceptable behavior. Our advice: Listen to Sex Mob and let your freak flag wave.

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