Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
- David Pollock
- 1 October 2009
The Chicago jazz collective come to Glasgow
‘When my mother was pregnant with me, she went to concerts,’ says Gabriel ‘Hudah’ Hubert, trumpet player in Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. ‘Apparently your ears are one of the first things that develop on you, so that was my way of life, who I am, being decided then.’ He wasn’t the only one. Hudah is one of eight male siblings who make up the Ensemble, all of them horn players and all sons of the trumpeter Phil Cohran, who is best-known as a member of Sun Ra’s trailblazing cosmic jazz ensemble The Arkestra in the late 50s and early 60s.
‘We wanted to keep the rich legacy of our father alive,’ says Hudah, ‘by creating cosmic music, but also what we call ‘now’ music.’ They have a good grounding, given that the parental influences which every young musician begins with involved the torrent of music from across the globe which their father listened to. ‘He sat us down and taught us to be cultured,’ says Hudah. ‘Music from Asia, Africa, the Aborigines, our father’s peers like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, but we’d also sneak out and listen to the music of our own time: some rap and R&B.’
With their eponymous debut album proper released this year, the band’s sound takes in a range of influences, cultivating jazz roots through Afrobeat, ska and on into a kind of populist party style. It comes as little surprise, in fact, that no less an advocate of music sans frontieres as Damon Albarn has performed with the group before, and invited them to support Blur on their Hyde Park comeback stage earlier this summer.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 19 Oct