A look at the musical lives of Phil Cohran sons, from the success to failure, stage to front page.
Sunrise, somewhere in New York City. Eight young men raise eight brass horns to the brightening sky. A thrilling harmony of single notes spills forth. “Long tones were the first thing we ever learned,” one brother explains, “so every time we start out with that, because it’s the principle of simplicity, and the most basic thing is one note.” Another brother chimes in that when they were children, their father would always start their daily six a.m. family band practice with long tones. “Our father would tell us, hey that’s a great long tone, what he meant was, he could feel all of our energies connecting.”
The father in question is legendary anti-establishment trumpet player Phil Cohran, who raised his sons on jazz, funk, and Black Consciousness. As the film plays along, you will fall in love, not only with the Hypnotic brothers and their raucous, swinging, soul-tumbling music, but also with the very idea of music, with its power to elevate our every day existence. You will feel the swooping roller coaster of their successes and failures deep inside your stomach, from playing on the streets of New York to playing on stage with Mos Def, from lackluster album reviews to New York Times Arts Section front page profiles.
Most of all, you will root for them as they struggle to integrate the musical and political values of their father and take their rightful place at the vanguard of a new generation of socially-conscious, genre-defying musical heroes. Their struggle is our struggle, the one about stepping out of the shadows of our fathers and making our mark on this world. But their struggle features one hell of a soundtrack.
This free show at MetroTech Commons will feature a rockin’ dance party leading up to the film, and a live performance by the brothers themselves directly afterwards.