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Standing in the Shadows of Motown
The Funk Brothers




Overview -
Paul Justman's inspiring documentary pays tribute to one of the most influential, yet unrecognized, collection of musicians that has ever been assembled. The Funk Brothers played the background music on the seemingly endless string of Motown classics in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in a resume that boasts more number one hits than The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined. Shot on location in Detroit, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN reunites the surviving members as they reflect on the groups' storied past. Most celebrated is departed bassist James Jamerson, whose fiery presence and technical prowess was largely responsible for shaping the Funk Brothers' supremely distinct sound. In addition to interviews, as well as reenactments and archival footage, Justman gathers together the musicians for an unforgettable reunion concert. Featuring the vocal support of several contemporary artists, including Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, Chaka Kahn, Gerald Levert, and Bootsy Collins, the Funk Brothers prove that they haven't lost a beat. Based on the book by Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives overdue credit to a group of unassuming musicians who quietly created one of popular music's most enduring and spectacular musical legacies.

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More About Standing in the Shadows of Motown

 
 
 

Overview

Paul Justman's inspiring documentary pays tribute to one of the most influential, yet unrecognized, collection of musicians that has ever been assembled. The Funk Brothers played the background music on the seemingly endless string of Motown classics in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in a resume that boasts more number one hits than The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined. Shot on location in Detroit, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN reunites the surviving members as they reflect on the groups' storied past. Most celebrated is departed bassist James Jamerson, whose fiery presence and technical prowess was largely responsible for shaping the Funk Brothers' supremely distinct sound. In addition to interviews, as well as reenactments and archival footage, Justman gathers together the musicians for an unforgettable reunion concert. Featuring the vocal support of several contemporary artists, including Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, Chaka Kahn, Gerald Levert, and Bootsy Collins, the Funk Brothers prove that they haven't lost a beat. Based on the book by Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives overdue credit to a group of unassuming musicians who quietly created one of popular music's most enduring and spectacular musical legacies.

Main Cast & Crew

Paul Justman - Director
Joe Messina
Johnny Griffith
Ben Harper
Joe Hunter
Bob Babbitt
Richard "Pistol" Allen
Eddie Willis
Gerald Levert
Andre Braugher
MeShell Ndegeocello

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 108
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 012236137801
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Rating: PG (MPAA) (language and thematic elements)
  • Release Date: April 2003

Related Categories:
Movies > Musical & Performing Arts
Movies > Pop Music

Related Keywords:
History
Documentary
Music (General)
Theatrical Release
Soul
Funk
R&B/Soul
Music
Singers
1960s
1970s
Musicians

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Reviews:
"...This beauty of a documentary pays long-overdue tribute to the Funk Brothers....It's a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more..." - 11/28/2002 Rolling Stone, p.97


"...[A] long overdue secret history of American music....Crucial viewing for those in search of the origins of funk..." - 11/01/2002 Film Comment, p.77


"...The film makes you feel like a winner as you bounce happily out of the theater..." - 11/15/2002 USA Today, p.6E


"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN opens your ears in a way that few musical documentaries have attempted..." - 11/22/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.53


"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives the Funk Brothers their due and more, mostly through wonderfully juicy anecdotes..." - 11/15/2002 Los Angeles Times, p.C6


"...[An] affectionate portrait..." - 08/01/2003 Sight and Sound, p.58-9


"[T]he final reunion concert is a blast..." - 02/01/2004 Total Film, p.108

 

BAM Customer Reviews