At MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night (April 4), the propulsive quartet Sexmob, which combines mind-blowing jazz chops with a highly developed sense of wit and mischief, performs its brand-new original score to Maciste in Hell, the seminal work of the Italian silent era. The great Bartolomeo Pagano stars as Maciste, a Herculean strongman whose physical prowess and matching virtue are tested when the Devil and his minions capture him and drag him to hell. Fellini cites the film as one that inspired him to lead a life in cinema.
Originally formed as a vehicle for Steven Bernstein (most notable for his work as the trumpeter for Levon Helm from 2004 to 2012) and his slide trumpet, Sexmob quickly evolved to serve a much nobler purpose. Immediately after Bernstein assembled his band (Steven Bernstein, slide trumpet; Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums), they began a residency at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan, largely playing Bernstein’s original songs. During a special evening of film music, however, the audience went crazy for the James Bond theme. Bernstein and his band realized that audiences engage more with music they recognize, and Sexmob’s legacy would be forever changed.
LIVE: Jazz at the Lake @ Lake George High School Auditorium, 9/13/14 (Day One)
A Few (More) Minutes With… Steven Bernstein
A Few Minutes With… Steven Bernstein of the Millennial Territory Orchestra