For the past couple of days, the northeast corner of Madison and Wells has been occupied by an unusual group of young men. They are the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, an eight-piece band that consists of three trumpeters, three trombonists, a Sousaphone player and a drummer. They have the instrumentation of a New Orleans brass band, but they have a sound that goes beyond the "Dirty Dozen Brass Band" world. While their tunes have a lot of rhythmic forward motion, there is also a drone to the music (they call themselves "Hypnotic" for a reason). All of the musicians are the son of a single man - Sun Ra's trumpet player, Kelan Phil Cohran. Phil is a legend in Chicago - for his creativity and his remarkable skills of procreation. He has nineteen children, from 4-5 different women.
So I bought their home-produced CD - I am going to tee it up tonight to see if it captures the energy and verve that they spill out on the streets of the Loop.