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Album Review: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Honest Jon’s)

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01. MP3: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – War
02. MP3: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Sankofa

As a biologist, I think a lot about the future of mankind.  For example, genetic engineering: will it ever be useful, technically feasible, or morally acceptable to genetically engineer humans with a vast array of traits?

Then, I find out about projects like Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.  Inheritance of musical ability the old fashioned way: juice of the loins, incubate in the womb, pop out kid, pass down craft.  Phil Cohran did this times 8, to be precise.  His name may be more familiar to you in the context of the Sun Ra Arkestra (too crazy NOT to be true), where he played trumpet.

Hypnotic is a pure brass and drums instrumental band (8 horn players, all Cohran’s sons, and a drummer) forged in the fading flames of Chicago’s once fiercely active, and still ferociously inventive jazz scene.  In this context, the band’s sound and catalytic energy should be expected, but it still manages to take your breath away every time.  Look no farther than their collaborations with Blur’s Damon Albarn, Tony Allen or Mos Def for more vetting. Read the rest…