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Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sexmob Plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota)

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This fun-loving jazz quartet is no stranger to film music: On 2001’s Sex Mob Does Bond, it had its way with the wonderful soundtracks that John Barry wrote for James Bond movies. On 2013’s Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti, Sex Mob turns its attention to Nino Rota, who composed memorable scores for Federico Fellini’s classic oeuvre. Group leader and slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, saxophonist Briggan Krauss, electric bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wolleson make Rota's songs swagger and sway in their very own way. The opener—a reinterpretation of the theme from the 1973 dramedy Amarcord—starts with mysterious percussion before the band settles into a slow-tempo groove topped by woozy horns. On “La Strada,” Bernstein and Krauss bend and shape notes just so as cymbals clatter and clash. “Toby Dammit’s Last Act” features trumpet and sax wiggling above simple bass and resounding gongs. Things get rowdy on “Nadia Gray,” which combines punk rock abandon with something that sounds like “Reveille.” The good times wrap up with “I Vitelloni,” a cut full of bluesy bleats and wails.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sex Mob began merely as a setting to feature the slide trumpet of leader Steven Bernstein, but has grown into a band with a much larger mission: to put the fun back in jazz music. After assembling the band (Bernstein, slide trumpet; Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums), Sex Mob began a residency at the Knitting Factory, playing predominantly originals written by Bernstein. During a special evening of film music, the crowd went crazy for the "James Bond Theme," and Bernstein...
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Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (Sexmob Plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota), Sexmob
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