May 15, 2003

Standing In the Shadows of Motown

poster imageFun documentary about the pool of studio musicians collectively known as the Funk Brothers who played the music behind just about every Motown hit you can name. The film interviews the surviving members, reenacts some memorable events from their history, and has live concert footage of the Funk Brothers now playing the hits they made for some contemporary singers, notably Bootsy Collins (who is that guy?), Joan Osborne (who had more soul in the 2 seconds of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" that she sang in a cafe interview scene than the entire full rendition later in the movie by Ben Harper), Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Chaka Khan. I don't include the names of the musicians here because I've never heard of any of them and assume you haven't either. They're the real stars of the film and it's unfortunate that the singers get more of the spotlight in the concert scenes than the players, just like it was back then. Still, the music is great and the stories are interesting.

Verdict: 2-1/2 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at May 15, 2003 12:41 AM
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