Brothers Hypnotic

Brothers Hypnotic

  • BY Reuben Atlas | IN Arts & Culture
    Premiered April 7, 2014

About the Film

The eight young men who make up the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all sons of Phil Cohran, a legendary Chicago trumpeter who turned his back on commercial music to pursue astral jazz (with the “cosmic philosopher” of jazz, Sun Ra), proto-funk, and a passionately Afrocentric lifestyle. Cohran’s ultimate avant-garde work, however, may have been his own sons, who were raised communally on Chicago’s South Side with Cohran and their two mothers, complete with homemade clothes, veganism, and alternative holidays. MORE

Starting at age four, the boys also joined the family band, learning to play the trumpet, tuba, drums, French horn, cornet, and trombone. Rehearsals began early each morning but, unlike the Jackson Five, Cohran’s sons were not bred for pop stardom. Instead they were taught to “create sounds to fuse with the body and heal the soul,” and to serve as an inspiration for the community.

Cohran’s “boys,” as seen in Reuben Atlas’s Brothers Hypnotic, are now young men in their 20s and 30s, and when they raise their horns, they make transcendent music that ties currents from jazz and funk to soul and hip-hop. But although working together as their father had hoped — whether playing in Times Square, negotiating with managers and record labels, or jamming with Mos Def and Prince — they find the unwavering ideals bred into them by their father repeatedly tested.

The film follows the octet as far away as Ireland as they tour and work to carve out their own renown around the world.


 

The Filmmaker

Reuben Atlas is a New York-based producer, director, and non-practicing lawyer. Brothers Hypnotic, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, is his first feature-length documentary. He has received support for the film from ITVS, the Jerome Foundation, the National Black Programming Consortium, the New York State Council on the Arts, and NTR Dutch TV. He has also worked at Legal Aid, at a maximum-security prison, and taught English in Costa Rica. He is currently working on a Sundance Institute and International Documentary Association-supported film about ACORN, as well as on a film about the world of rare wine. LESS

Film Credits

Producer & Director
Reuben Atlas

Editor
Keiko Deguchi

Producer
Sam Pollard

Consulting Producers
David Van Taylor
Jamin Mendelsohn

Cinematographers
Dan Fridman
Sean Porter
Ari Issler
Reuben Atlas

Additional Cinematographers
Paul Greenhouse
Igor Martinovich
Ryan Garrett
Adam McDaid
Arianna LaPenne
Rachel Morrison
Scott Miller
Nick Castle
Danny Vechionne
Ray Yau
Michel Sandy
Alex Kornreich
Brian Moore
Brian Wingert
Tomas Gubernot
Michael Oswald

Additional Editors
Paul Greenhouse
Reuben Atlas

Advisors
Bonnie Friedman
St. Clair Bourne
Doug Pray
Nick, Angelo, and Terry Corrao

Sound Mixers
Daniel Brooks
John Mathie

Additional Sound Mixers
Mark Keshishian
Shaka King
Dominique De Leon
Laurens Koorevar
Daniel Gaughran
Russel White
Pat Tillman

Motion/Graphic Designer
David Byrd

Assistant Editor
Steffan Borg Niemann

Post Supervisor
Omry Maoz

Concert Recordists
Steve White
Aura Sonic
USA Mobile Studios
Doug White

Production Assistants
Ian Kibbe
Amber Somner
Chris Miller
Jorge Soto
James Arthur Tanner
Mariko Yoshimura-Rank
German Gruber
Jordan D Axelrod

On-line Editor/Colorist
Steve Pequignot

On-line Assistant
Jordan Thompson-Deson

Post Production Facility
Glue Edit & Design

Sound Mix Facility
Soundspace Studios

Sound Mixer
Matthew Polis

Insurance
Reiff & Associates

Legal Services
Fernando Ramirez, Esq.

Archival Footage and Photos Courtesy of
Stephanie Berger
Ciné Tamaris
Kelan Phil Cohran
Phil Cohran
Getty Images
Georgia Kuhn
MAIA
Felix Proctor
Aquilla Sadalla
Bobby Sengstacke
Agnes Varda, “Huey” (1968)
Bruno Simões

Music

“War”
“Touch the Sky”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Andrew McLean
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

“Satin Sheets”
“Balicky Bon”
“Frankinsense”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Christopher Anderson
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

“Malcolm X”
“Meditations”
Written by Kelan Phil Cohran
Performed by Kelan Phil Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble
Courtesy of Zulu Record Co.

“Gypsy”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Christopher Anderson,
and Mos Def aka Yasin Bey
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

“A Negro Speaks of Rivers”
Written by Langston Hughes
Performed by Phil Cohran

“Sankofa”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Tony Allen
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Tony Allen
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

“Party Started”
“Mars”
“Jupiter”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Gabriel Wallace
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

“Musicology”
Written by Prince
Performed by Prince, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and John Blackwell, Ida Nielsen,
Morris Hayes, Cassandra O'Neal, Andy Allo , Shelby J, Marva King
Courtesy of NPG and Colombia Records

“Black Boy”
Written by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Phil Cohran
Performed by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Phil Cohran
Courtesy of My Publishing Group and Pheelco Entertainment

Thanks

The Agency Group
Danny Alpert
Jamie Atlas
John, Bonnie and Becky Atlas
Moti Bahat
Carnegie Hall Concert Series
Choice Cuts
Comet
Daniel Berger
Edward Bland
Delphene Blue
Larry Bogdanow
Terry Champlin
Negin Farsad
Stephen Fuller
Abel Garibaldi
The Grill Family
Groove Master Studios
Sam Grossman
Grouse Lodge Recording Studios
Edwin Houghton
Honest Jons
Independent Feature Project
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jamie Grill Photography
Jill Newman Productions
Joe’s Pub
Kikit
Lily and Niko Koppel
Seun Kuti
Will Lehman
Samara Levenstein
George E. Lewis
The Lion’s Den
LoveMusicHateRacism
Marisa Macner
Wyatt Magee
Loughlin McSweeney
Daniel Menely
Brett Morgen
Mark Murphy
Lindha Narvaez
North Sea Jazz Festival
Pulse Films
Alec Raia
Sandy Reynolds
Judah Schept
Amy Schewel
Deborah Shaffer
Emily Sheridan
The Shrine
Kristan William Sprague
Tinku Bhattacharyya
Donal Thorton
Tanyel Vahdettin
Jennie Wasserman

Commissioning Editors for NTR
Marloes Blokker
Annemiek van der Zanden

Executive Producer for NBPC
Jacquie Jones

Director of Programming for NBPC
Leslie Fields Cruz

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Major Funding for this program was provided by
New York State Council on the Arts
The Jerome Foundation

Brothers Hypnotic is a co-production of Pandora Educational Film Center,
the Independent Television Service (ITVS), National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC),
and NTR Dutch TV, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Brothers Hypnotic is produced by Pandora Educational Film Center who is solely responsible for its content.

© 2013 Pandora Educational Film Center. All rights reserved.

Have you had to carve out a niche for yourself to escape a parent's influence? Have you collaborated with siblings on a project or art?
Please review our comment guidelines.
Have you had to carve out a niche for yourself to escape a parent's influence? Have you collaborated with siblings on a project or art?