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REVIEW: Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob @ Goodfoot Lounge (Portland, OR – 5/23/09)

24th May 09 (Sun) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Sex Mob is a downtown NYC jazz band made up of bandleader Steven Bernstein on slide trumpet, Briggan Krauss on saxophone, Tony Scherr on bass, and Kenny Wolleson on drums.  For those keeping score, Steven Bernstein is one of my top 3 favorite (living) trumpet players [Dave Douglas & Wynton Marsalis being the other 2].  I got into Steven via some of his CDs on John Zorn’s label Tzadik and their Radical Jewish Culture series… then I found Sex Mob (and also Millennial Territory Orchestra).  Steven Bernstein came through Ohio just shortly after I moved away; so last night was actually my first time to see him live.  And for it to be a Sex Mob show made it much more special.

The opener, Trio Subtonic, was great.  I saw them last fall at a small college, but this time it was nice to see them in a more intimate, non-auditorium setting.  They played for 75 minutes or so, more than a normal opener.  In fact, had they not been so good, I would have kind of been pissed. :)  In my opinion, the best part of their set was when they ripped into an instrumental jazzy, slightly obscured cover of Radiohead‘s “Just” (the original has one of my favorite videos).  I was singing along…  Shortly thereafter, they were joined on stage by a saxophonist for about half of their set – which was a great addition.  Maybe they should add him permanently and change their name to Quartet Subtonic.

Sex Mob came on around 11:45, and they started in on an avant-garde piece. I’d seen Sex Mob’s saxophonist Briggan Krauss play with NYC downtown avant-garde musicians Ikue Mori and Jim Black in March 2007; so I expected some avant-garde from this group of downtown NYC musicians.  Sex Mob mixed it up a bit and jammed as well, but every corner had a bit of the avant-garde nature hiding in it.  Maybe more of a halfway point between groove jazz and avant-garde jazz would be a good explanation – “raucous.”  I think my favorite from their set was the tune whose opener reminds me of Dizzy Gillespie‘s “Salt Peanuts.”

Sex Mob Intro @ the Goodfoot, 5/23/09

Sex Mob #2 @ the Goodfoot, 5/23/09

I hope they come back again soon… and maybe start earlier (or play closer to me). :)  I bailed around 1am to head back home to Eugene.  All in all, a great night for jazz.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: IsisWavering Radiant

no torrent here

TRIO SUBTONIC / SEX MOB PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2009 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a
creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

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ha’fway

30th Jun 08 (Mon) 3 comments

(Sub)consciously prompted by this music blog, here are my favs of the first half of 2008… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end:

Artist Album (label)

  1. The Secret Chiefs 3 play Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 9: Xaphan (Tzadik)
  2. The Bar Kokhba Sextet play Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 10: Lucifer (Tzadik)
  3. My Brightest Diamond A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (Asthmatic Kitty)
  4. Opeth Watershed (RoadRunner)
  5. Earth The Bees Make Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord)
  6. Dave Douglas & Keystone Live at Jazz Standard, 4/10/2008 to 4/13/2008 (2 sets each night = 8 CDs worth, each set downloadable within 24 hours of the performance… cool stuff…) (Green Leaf)
  7. Sigur Rós Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (XL)
  8. Reptet Chicken or Beef? (Monktail Creative Music Concern)
  9. John Zorn’s The Dreamers (Tzadik)
  10. King’s X XV (Inside Out)
  11. Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) Secrets of the New Explorers -EP- (Umami)
  12. Ashes Divide (Bill Howerdel of A Perfect Circle) Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright (Island)
  13. Mike Patton A Perfect Place (Ipecac)
  14. Puscifer V is for Viagra – The Remixes (Puscifer)
  15. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Lil’ Tae Rides Again (Hyena)
  16. Bill Frisell History, Mystery (Nonesuch)
  17. Steven Bernstein (of Sex Mob) Diaspora Suite (Tzadik)
  18. Hiromi Beyond Standard (Telarc)
  19. Stebmo Stebmo (Stebmo)
  20. Bobby Previte & New Bump New Bump: Set the Alarm for Monday (Palmetto)
  21. Swami Late Plate (Previte & Saft) Doom Jazz (Veal)
  22. Porcupine Tree We Lost the Skyline -EP- (Transmission)
  23. Raquy and the Cavemen Mischief (Meef)
  24. Aimee Mann @#%&*! Smilers (Super Ego)
  25. Kaki King Dreaming of Revenge (Velour)

The 2nd half of 2008 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… Medeski Martin & Wood play John Zorn’s Masada Book Two, 3 other Medeski Martin & Wood albums (later in the year), Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls (maybe), God of Shamisen debut, Extreme Saudades de Rock, Mike Patton‘s Mondo Cane, Mike Patton & Dan the Automator’s Crudo, a new Sufjan Stevens (just speculating, since it’s been a while), Ben Folds is working on one, Ani DiFranco always has something coming out, Jude‘s Cuba, Jon Madof‘s CircuitBreaker debut (and maybe another Rashanim?), The Tango Saloon‘s Transylvania, new Tristeza, Over the Rhine Live from Nowhere III, David Bazan full-length, George Hrab (maybe?), SFJazz 2008 with Dave Douglas & Joe Lovano and others, Frank Zappa‘s One Shot Deal, another installment of the John Zorn avant-metal trio of Mike Patton/Trevor Dunn/Joey Baron… and I’m sure another dozen or more that I’ll dig from Tzadik.

~Dan – np: ReptetChicken or Beef?

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