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Legendary New York Jazz band SEX MOB

Cozmic Pizza was blessed with Steven Bernstein, Kenny Wollensen, Tony Sherr and Briggan Krauss: AKA SEX MOB.

 

This band plays sloppy drunken New Orleans funeral march style, but works in familiar melodies and plays them loosely, as if soaked in booze and squeezed out a slide trumpet. Sometimes they resemble an instrumental Tom Waits track. Kenny (drums) plays some wild stuff, melodically playing sputtered phrases, sometimes making his drum set squeak and rattle, sometimes picking up gongs and soundmakers, and sometimes just hitting hard fast like its punk rock. (He’s played with Norah Jones, John Zorn, and TOM WAITS among many others). The bass player Tony just grooved the whole time, without any piano or guitarist, he is prominent on every song, sometimes playing implied chords and always subtly dancing by himself and smiling. Steven and Briggan play around each other and around the melodies, lurching, swamping, blasting, bellowing. Some songs are dissonant, but all are satisfying in the grand whole: like a complex mix of sour sweet and umami tastes in a complex dish.  I caught a lick from “Adir Adirim” (Balkan Beat Box) and “Clint Eastwood” by The Gorillaz was mixed up with “oh when the saints go marchin in” and sometimes they flirted with maybe almost playing the standard “I Got Rhythm.” In their final medley they whipped out the James Bond theme. I’m sure there were many other in-jokes from jazz and pop music that went over my head.  They also played their own take on songs from Fellini films. This was a beautiful and wild concert and the crowd was satisfied. Most of them relaxed and watched the band’s every move, but a few brave souls danced. Catch them live if you can! Steven said they played Oregon Country Fair in 1984! Wow thats a long time ago. I was 2!

 

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