Standing In The Shadows Of Motown Review

Image for Standing In The Shadows Of Motown

Thirty years after Motown moved to L.A., abandoning the hit machine of Detroit jazz and R&B musicians who made the label’s soul sound legend, The Funk Brothers get their overdue tribute in a celebratory documentary and reunion concert a la <b>Buena Vista


To paraphrase Martha And The Vandellas, summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the seats! Aged musicians reunited amid hilarious anecdotes, dramatic reconstructions and archive footage make a joyful noise in this tuneful, tearful, wonderful story of Motown's unsung house band.

Someone observes that, with respect to Motown's great singers, it didn't matter who was in front of these men - a point proven in an electrifying gig as younger vocalists join them on hits like I Heard It Through The Grapevine and I'll Be There. The songs are as powerful and sweetly exhilarating as ever.

Several Brothers are gone but marvellously evoked by their raconteur friends. Two more have died since filming. Thank goodness Justman, enthused by Allan Slutsky's 1989 book, made it his mission to capture a remarkable oral-visual history that is indispensible for pop historians and utterly captivating for music lovers.

Just fabulous. Entertaining, absorbing, irresistable for anyone who loves prime Motown Sound. And for anyone who doesn’t — you surely will after this.