Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO-FM
Drummer Allison Miller, a go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, has made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Boom Tic Boom features some of her favorite female instrumentalists in pianist Myra Melford and violinist Jenny Scheinman, as well as a long-running partner-in-crime in bassist Todd Sickafoose, and it interprets her jaunty tunes with plenty of headroom for any onomatopoeia from her percussion palette. And it’s just released a second album — third if you include a live double LP — called No Morphine, No Lilies.
The band Sexmob specializes in a distinct strain of deconstructionist improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. The quartet has tackled James Bond music, rock covers, Duke Ellington, the Macarena and exotica, plus originals from leader Steven Bernstein. The antic trumpeter, who brings out the slide trumpet with this group, counts on exceptional musicianship from Briggan Krauss (saxophone), Tony Scherr (bass) and Kenny Wollesen (drums), making Sexmob a sort of cover band in the mold of the Ornette Coleman quartet. Its latest album, Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti, takes on music of the film composer Nino Rota.
Sexmob follows Boom Tic Boom onstage at 92Y Tribeca in downtown New York City as part of the WBGO concert series The Checkout: Live. WBGO and NPR Music present a live radio broadcast and online video webcast of both sets starting at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 8. For the full concert archive of this series, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.
Boom Tic Boom: