Steven Bernstein's Millenial Territory Orchestra: MTO Plays Sly

Album review
Steven Bernstein's Millenial Territory Orchestra: MTO Plays Sly

Steven Bernstein

MTO Plays Sly

Label: Royal Potato Family
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

Perhaps more than any other jazz musician today, Steven Bernstein recovers the element of fun that withered in the stiff- suited renaissance at the close of the 20th century. On MTO Plays Sly, the master of the slide trumpet appends a “k,” like an exclamation point, to fun. But befitting his eclectic track record—Lounge Lizards, Sex Mob, Leonard Cohen, Levon Helm—Bernstein’s funk is as elastic as his jazz. His MTO was born in the spirit of the barnstorming dance bands that arose in the 1920s. Its two previous releases included covers of Count Basie, Fats Waller, Lennon and McCartney, the Grateful Dead, and Prince. This exuberant 13-track tribute to Sly Stone mines his psychedelic soul music, giving it a vibrant rainbow-hued reincarnation by Bernstein’s all-star nine-piece band (reeds, trombone, guitar/banjo, violin, bass, and drums) and distinguished guests in superbly executed arrangements that encompass jazz, gospel, and acid-rock. The instruments pop with crisp, lifelike presence, and singers Antony Hegarty, Martha Wainwright, Sandra St. Victor, Shilpa Ray, and Dean Bowman inject their own eccentric vocal soul into Family Stone classics from “Stand” to “Everyday People” and “Thank You for Talkin’ to Me Africa.” 

More Info

  • primary artist, Steven Bernstein
  • primary artist, Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
  • CD

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