Contribute Now
Independent Lens | Brothers Hypnotic | History & Documentary | WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list
  • Click to make a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • In Partnership With:
  • PBS
  • NPR

Independent Lens | Brothers Hypnotic

Posted by WMHT Web Editor

See the Preview for Brothers Hypnotic

Watch Monday, April 7, 2014 at midnight on WMHT TV.

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 Sun Ra), proto-funk, and a passionately Afrocentric lifestyle. Cohran’s ultimate avant-garde experiment, however, are 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. 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” 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 hiphop. But although they are working together as their father had hoped — whether playing for quarters 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. Ultimately, they must decide whether his values will be their own. Brotherhood, whether biological or ideological, is never easy.

Visit the Brothers Hypnotic companion website (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/brothers-hypnotic) which features information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.

The Principle of Simplicity

The Principle of Simplicity

Brothers Hypnotic premieres on PBS Independent Lens on April 7, 2014.

Clef the Trombonist

Clef the Trombonist

Brothers Hypnotic premieres on PBS Independent Lens on April 7, 2014.

An Unyielding Commitment to Excellence

An Unyielding Commitment to Excellence

Brothers Hypnotic premieres on PBS Independent Lens on April 7, 2014.

Learn the story of how Theodore Roosevelt became our nation’s 26th president.

New York NOW: Education & History

Ed comm exits with Common Core as his legacy, for better or for worse Ed comm exits with Common Core as his legacy, for better or for worse
The state is losing it’s education commissioner, as John King takes a job with the Obama Administration. King was in charge of school policies during a tumultuous time...

POV Documentary Blog

Tom Roston’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2014 Tom Roston’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2014
Without any throat clearing about how this was yet another great year for docs -- which it was, by the way -- I prese...