For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, “brotherhood” is literal: they’re all sons of anti-establishment jazz legend, Phil Cohran. Cohran and their mothers raised them together on Chicago’s South Side on a strict diet of jazz, funk and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM.

Now grown, as they raise eight brass horns to the sky, they make music that is indescribably radiant, unremittingly exciting, and undeniably together. But as the brothers try to make their own way—while playing in the streets of New York City, negotiating with record labels, or collaborating with Mos Def, Damon Albarn, and Prince—they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether his principles really are their own.


© Phil Cohran