Slide-trumpet virtuoso Steven Bernstein is something of a musical schizophrenic. He easily jumps from performing and arranging duties with John Lurie's avant-jazz Lounge Lizards to orchestrating the gritty swing on Robert Altman's film "Kansas City" to gigs with They Might Be Giants, Tricky and Aretha Franklin. All of those experiences converge on "Din of Inequity," the riveting debut from Bernstein's Sex Mob quartet.
Bernstein, alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen open their doors to non-jazz audiences with oddball versions of familiar songs. Organist John Medeski contributes to a groove-intensive, screeching take on Prince's "Sign o' the Times," a moody version of "House of the Rising Sun" and a silly rejuvenation of "Macarena." Bernstein salutes Duke Ellington on a shimmering "Come Sunday," toasts Hoagy Carmichael with "New Orleans" and revisits the James Bond themes "Goldfinger" and "Live and Let Die."
Good music knows no boundaries. Neither, thankfully, does Bernstein.