"Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited in Detroit to play their music and tell their story," reads a title early in the director Paul Justman's documentary. It is a simple premise that this movie more than lives up to, falling back on the serene power of the Funk Brothers, the squadron of elite musicians heard laying down the rhythm — and the law — on Motown's greatest hits. This salute to the literally unsung and underrecognized studio heroes of Motown is so good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment. And it is one of the few nonfiction films that will have you walking out humming the score, if you're not running to the nearest store to buy Motown CD's. — Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
MAKE YOUR FUNK BROTHERS WEBQUEST
2002 National Society of Film Critics Awards
2002 New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Broadcast Film Critics Association
R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE:
" What's Going On"
- Chaka Khan
& The Funk Brothers
"Standing in the Shadows of Motown", is the documentary film that tells the story of Motown's legendary studio band, the Funk Brothers.
The Funk Brothers gathered in Detroit last November 2000 for filming. They are: Bob Babbitt, Richard ''Pistol'' Allen, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones, Joe Hunter, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina and Johnny Griffin.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presented a movie screening of "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," a documentary film from the Rimshot LLC production company on December 14th, 2001 as part of "I Hear America Singing," a major initiative to celebrate this nation's rich musical heritage. The Funk Brothers were a relatively unknown group of musicians who have played on as many No. 1 one hits as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined.
"Standing in the Shadows of Motown" was shot entirely on location in Detroit from December 2000 through January 2001, directed by Paul Justman, a veteran of music videos and music-themed documentaries, Allan Slutsky, and Sandy Passman, executive producers Paul Elliott and David Scott. Using the '60s as a backdrop, Motown's unsung heroes take the viewer on a compelling journey in time as they trace the evolution of "The Motown Sound" from its origins in Detroit to its demise in Los Angeles during the '70s.
In 1959, Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit's jazz and blues scene to cut songs for his new record company. The Funk Brothers were the house band and the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Bernadette," "I Was Made to Love Her," and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.
This excellent film depicts Motown's back story, the tales of the talented jazz-bred musicians who created the intricate, rhythm-heavy Motown sound surrounding the voices of stars such as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many others. I the movie you hear them playing with singers Chaka Khan, D'Angelo, Ben Harper, and Me'Shell NdegeOcello to do songs such as "Cloud Nine" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Actor Andre Braugher, narrarates the one hour, 56-minute documentary tells the Funk Brothers' saga through archival footage and still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and 12 new live performances of Motown classics with the Funk Brothers backing up Chaka Kahn, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, Montell Jordan, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne and Gerald Levert. Allan Slutsky plays White's guitar part in the mix.
This film is based on a book of the same title by Mr. Allan Slutsky that won the 1989 Rolling Stone/BMI Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award. Mr. Slutsky a New Jersey-based musician, author, and movie producer who worked for 14 years in putting together the movie, told me that after a theatrical run, the film will go to cable and then be released on tape and DVD.Review Summary -- The New York Times Review By Elvis Mitchell
Jack Ashford - Vibes and Percussion Birthday 5/18/2013 80 yrs.
Eddie Willis - Guitar
Joe Messina - Guitar
Bob Babbitt - Bass RIP
Richard Pistol Allen - Drums RIP
Uriel Jones - Drums RIP
Johnny Griffith - Keyboards RIP
Joe Hunter - Keyboards RIP
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 From: "JACK ASHFORD"
Karen thanks for everything we really appreciate all that you are about.
~ Jack Ashford
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 From: Joe Messina
Hello Karen.. Your site is fantastic..
Karen Ellis © Founder and CEO of the Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc.