Sex Mob

Sex Mob Does Bond

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Sex Mob Does Bond is the soundtrack to an imaginary James Bond flick, and a tribute, of sorts, to the music of John Barry. Aside from the leadoff track and its reprise ("Dr. Yes," ostensibly the title of the film), the program is a collection of Barry tracks taken from various Bond films. As always, Sex Mob applies its own swaggering brilliance to the proceedings, spicing up the somewhat familiar music with outrageous musicianship and a sly grin. Joined by guests John Medeski (organ) and the Sex Mob Soul Choir (backing vocals), Sex Mob rip through the Barry songbook, infusing each piece with a sexy, almost trashy vibe that was always subdued in the Bond films. In the liner notes, Steven Bernstein says he wanted his Bond film to be more explicit than the existing ones, and thus the addition of a "porno-beat" section (his term) to many of the pieces, giving them a vintage strip club-style bawdiness. The playing is uniformly excellent. Bernstein is the undisputed master of the slide trumpet (can you name another?), and Briggan Krauss is just plain sick (in the best way possible); he sounds like no one else on alto saxophone. Medeski's role is mainly to add orchestrations and color, but he also throws down on a few tracks, like "Battle at Piz Gloria." Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen can ably handle anything Bernstein (or anyone else, for that matter) throws at them. Co-producer and engineer Scotty Hard adds some subtle but wonderful sonic touches to several pieces, like the dub-style echo on the drums on "Teasing the Korean." The kitschy backing vocals on several songs just add to the fun. Sex Mob is notorious for bringing new tunes to the jazz canon, sometimes kicking and screaming (can you say "Fernando"?), and Sex Mob Does Bond is no exception. These tunes play great whether you're a fan of James Bond and John Barry or not. As sexy as anything Bond should be, and more fun than you thought jazz could be, Sex Mob has delivered the goods once again.

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