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« March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'Brothers Hypnotic'

A look at the family dynamics and musical exuberance of Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Review by Kate X Messer

Brothers Hypnotic

24 Beats per Second, World Premiere
D: Reuben Atlas

When a film successfully footnotes heavy-hitters like Prince, Sun Ra, Earth, Wind & Fire, Mos Def, and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), the main subject's gotta be tight. For Hudah, Cid, Baji, LT, Yoshi, Rocco, Clef, and Smoov, the brothers of other mothers who share a father and are Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, "tight" – in the family and musical sense – is a way of life. Their dad, trumpeter Kelan Phil Cohran, served both Earth, Wind & Fire and the collective womb of jazz spaceman Sun Ra, and he instilled in his sons his anti-establishment mindset as well as the discipline, dedication, and heart to reach master-level musicianship. As the ensemble grew from boys to men, their greatest challenge wasn't so much navigating the temptations of stardom as the indomitable spirit of the man they call Pops. Director Atlas wisely lets the music play, capturing the ecstatic, rational exuberance of young men finding their own long tone.  

Saturday, March 16, 1:30pm, Alamo Ritz
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