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Dime Grind Palace

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ropadope/Koch
  • ASIN: B000A29GGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Sex Mob Store

Customer Reviews

5 star
75%
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
25%
1 star
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob quartet has become a virtual downtown institution in the last few years. Now maintaining regular gigs at Tonic, they ARE the late night sound of the East Village. An irreverent and raucous blend of 30's style "hot" jazz with a free-jazz bite, Sex Mob has willfully ventured where most jazz groups dare not tread. Covers of everything from the disposable pop of "The Macarena" to John Barry's James Bond theme have shown up in their repertoire. Sex Mob's greatest asset however has been their original tunes. This fourth album is both their first focusing almost entirely on original material and is also their most effectively produced album to date.
While overproduction can be the kiss of death for most artists, here the collaboration is a revelation. Scotty Hard (Wu-Tang Clan, Medeski, Martin and Wood) is behind the board this time and finally their live sound has been captured in the studio. Granted, there are electronic enhancements that one might not expect from an acoustic quartet, but what Hard does best here is exploit their deep primal groove.
Sonically, the production of Dime Grind Palace is more reminiscent of a rock album than your average jazz recording. Phat beats, dub ambience, effects laden horn solos and brief musical interludes all add up to a more "concept" album oriented approach than most jazz artists explore on their studio recordings. In a perfect world, the term cross-over would not be regarded with suspicion, in this fantasy world Sex Mob reigns as party band supreme.
Where previous releases have found the band more dissonant and contentious, here they ease into strong melodic blues grooves while keeping up the same unflagging intensity in their solos. The tuneful context accents their biting solo statements to remarkable effect.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't get the reviews here.
This is brilliant jazz. It's a new sound, coming out of dixieland more than bop. Its statement is darker, smoother, sexier than just about anything else. When the sax and trumpet blow together, watch out. It's music from today's jazz clubs - little places in brooklyn and san francisco - not fossilized Giants.
There's a free track at their home website (a full track, not the amazon little clip). Try it, and if it rings your bell, get the album - it's representative.
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By A Customer on November 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is my first Sex Mob cd, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I think Dime Grind Palace is brilliant. It does everything avant-garde music should, in my opinion, do. Rather than merely break the rules, the band reinvents them. The music also blurs the line between the spontaneous and the carefully planned. Most importantly, it's a lotta fun!!
Stanley Crouch probably put his fist through a wall when he heard this album, but any listener with an open mind should pick this one up.
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Format: Audio CD
. . . because it may well be that I'm misjudging these guys. But I don't think so, so I'm not.
I'm a little surprised I dislike this as much as I do. After all, I've greatly admired these players' work in other settings. I freely admit that I can't get on board with the vibe here. It's deconstructionist, but (to me, at least) in a snide, not a playful way--smug, not whimsical. Take the liner notes, for example. Meant, I'm sure, to be humorous, and written by an authentically weird person, Hal Wilner, in a faux-naïve style, they are a sad example of failed hipness. Or take the tune "Norbert's Weiner" (why the misspelling of his name, which [intentionally?--to what purpose?] spoils the pun) and its commentary: "An anthem to the man who ran with the concept of human protuberance from advanced prosthetics to outer space and most recently to cyberspace [hardly possible since Wiener died in 1964]. This latter achievement has revolutionized our present civilization. Hopefully, the colossal resonances of this song serve as a fitting tribute to the works of the great Norbert Wiener." Ha, Ha. The music itself, an ominous German Polka, is, I suppose, meant to identify Wiener with Bad Germans and be some kind of sly commentary on The Danger Of Cybernetics To Us All. Then there's their unpleasant rendition of "The Blue Danube," once again an instance of failed hipness to these ears.
It's not all bad. Lurking in the music is a genuinely creative jazz/blues sensibility, which comes to the fore most prominently on the Ellington tune "Blue and Sentimental." There's also a kind of twisted reverence for old-timey jazz, effectively presented in "Artie Shaw." Also, it must be said from a chops-only standpoint these are remarkable musicians.
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