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Cinema, Circus and Spaghetti: Sex Mob Plays Fellini

Sex Mob - 2013

Sex Mob's latest effort comes a long seven years after their last studio recording. Fortunately the extended layoff has not diluted or robbed this fascinatingly quirky NYC quartet's sense of fun and playfulness that have helped define them since their inception as a showcase band for founder's Steve Bernstein's slide trumpet. Yes. Slide trumpet. As per their previous albums, Cinema, Circus and Spaghetti finds Sex Mob paying homage to a singular composer using off-beat arrangements and their unique layout as a band (saxophone, bass, drums and slide chordal instruments) to express old tunes in a newly imagined musical manner. After previously tackling the music of John Barry (Sexmob Plays Bond, 2001) and Martin Denny (Sexotica, 2006), not to mention reworking hits by artists such as ABBA, the band this time around finds themselves in the world of Nino Rota, the Italian composer best known for his scores for the first two Godfather movies. Bernstein has arranged Rota's themes from various movies directed by Federico Fellini, the Italian film director and screen writer. The title of the album actually is derived from Fellini's quote, 'My films, like my life, are summed up in circus, spaghetti, sex and cinema.' Not being overly familiar with the tunes as they were originally recorded by Rota will not compromise the enjoyment you get out of listening to Bernstein's arrangements. This is partly because the new take on Rota'a pieces are ambitious in their remake, often presenting the songs in completely different styles to the originals and also because the unique make up of the band and their always playful interaction with one another is simply a wonder to listen to. The musicians are serious in their abilities and Bernstein's arrangements are class, but you never lose the feeling that Sex Mob was set up as a side project, tongue-in cheek ensemble, ready to entertain via the amusing nature of a slide trumpet. As Bernstein colours the album with his playing on the unique instrument, Briggan Krauss adds a certain heavy glue between the solid rhythm section and their band leader by expressing to perfection support through his alto and baritone saxophone playing. The pieces jump around from a slow blues to punk-rock. From heavy swing to laid back funk. The playing gets episodic at times, extremely sparse at others. In however they express themselves through each track, overall the album is very serious fun and a great tribute to a talented composer who would have appreciated this innovative approach to his work.

Posted by Andrew Scott



Excited to check this out!

Posted about 6 years ago by Photo(1)Joanna

AND Britney Jean, Joanna?

Posted about 6 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

Posted: 12/30/2013

Review by:


Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott ranks this as the
#8 favorite album of 2013