Sex Mob: Sign 'O The Times
Sign 'O The Times
Sexmob Meets Medeski- Live In Willisau (Thirsty Ear THI 57189.2)
Composed by Prince.
Recorded: Willisau Jazz Festival, September 1, 2006
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
It used to bother me that Prince went out to Vegas. Of course, this makes no sense. The hot & nasty purple one in Sin City? It doesn't take dream logic to make that idea work! It also used to bother me that Prince had become a practicing Jehovah Witness, but only because I figured that would mean he'd have to drop material like "Darling Nikki" from his live set.
As a listener, it can pay to make the attempt to separate the artist from the art. No matter what you think of Prince the man, there can be no denying that he has written some hot & nasty funk over the years. Yes, put that picture of the little guy in those assless pants out of your mind, because his music throws a long shadow.
Just ask the guys in Sex Mob. Better yet, give this steaming version of "Sign 'O The Times" a listen. With Kenny Wollesen doing a little second line shuffle under Tony Scherr's wicked bass lick, and with guest organ player John Medeski adding to that initial conversation, it seemed that Sex Mob intended to put the tune in slow burn mode. Wrong! The horns come in and play the head before transitioning into the full-on freak & shriek. Medeski keeps up the tension later on as the band takes that signature funk line and elongates it while Bernstein and Kraus shout it out over the top. Great stuff. It's proof that funk and free(ish) jazz are not that far apart, and that you don't have to go to Vegas to get freaky.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski