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Spotlight Project: Mo'Fone 'Fonology
The award-winning saxes-and-drums trio releases their 3rd CD, with all new original compositions mixing meaty New Orleans Funk with Bay Area free-range Jazz.
Larry De La Cruz (saxophones, percussion)
Jim Peterson (saxophones, percussion)
Jeremy Steinkoler (drums, percussion)
Special Guests: Kirk Joseph (sousaphone–founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band)
Marty Wehner (trombone–Santana, Joe Henderson)
Stephen Kent (didgeridoo, percussion–Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussein, Trance Mission)
Danny Bittker (tenor sax)
With its surprising lineup of 2 saxes and drums, Mo’Fone explores the sonic landscape of its instrumentation with relentlessadventurousness and a compelling irreverence to musical norms, creating a huge sound that belies its compact size. On ‘Fonology, the band’s third release, the group demonstrates it has come into its own as a compositional force, transcending the novelty of its instrumentation. This CD is full of catchy, fun and memorable tracks; from the Crescent City second-line romp of “No Nugget” and the buoyant, irrepressible “Jim’s Way”; the swampy funkiness of “Wind Pile” and the soulfully plaintive and cinematic “Regret”; and the haunting middle eastern “That & the Other,” Mo’Fone navigates a dazzlingly eclectic range of feels and shows the group is capable of terrific emotional depth.
Combining serious musicianship with an infectious sense of fun onstage, Mo’Fone manages to groove with abandon while keeping miraculously in balance, as each member pushes his instrument well beyond its role in a more traditional trio. What’s more, Mo’Fone delivers adventurous riffs and grooves, while achieving a sound that’s not only accessible, but instantly addictive. Their groovy improvisations and original concept have twice earned them the award for Best Jazz Group in the 2008 & 2012 East Bay Express Readers Poll, a nomination for Best Funk Band in the SF Weekly 2008 Music Awards, and secured them repeated slots at the Monterey, San Francisco, and Sonoma Jazz Festivals.