Independent Lens: Brothers Hypnotic

Independent Lens: Brothers Hypnotic

Monday, April 7 at 10:00 p.m.

Not-always-willing participants in an unorthodox upbringing, the eight men of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble were forged into a band as kids by their father, jazz maverick Phil Cohran.

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 aninspiration for the community. Meet these musical brothers in Reuben Atlas’s "Brothers Hypnotic," premiering on "Independent Lens", hosted by Stanley Tucci.