Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, consisting of the eight sons of jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran, bring their musical smorgasbord to St. Luke’s in Cork City.
It has been three years since the Hypnotic Jazz Ensemble released their most recent album, Fly: The Customs Prelude, however, the group are back in Cork to give us a taste of their most recent EP Sound, Rhythm& Form. As usual, the EP and their live show showcases their love of melding styles within their emphatic delivery. In very fine matching black suits, the group power their way through a set that touches on jazz (obviously), hip hop, funk, and rock with an ease that suggests a mastery of all four genres. For instance, ‘Friends’ begins with an atmospheric and funky washed out wah guitar before heading into a mid tempo funk replete with solos for bass, drums, and guitar that touch on jazz and rock.
The lads are experts at riling a crowd, telling the crowd thay their not used to playing to a seated crowd and playing fan favourite ‘Wall’ early in their set to encourage those assembled to get up off the pews and dance. Call and response calls of “Aiight!” accompany tracks that are coiled and busy, while at a more restrained moment the band have the stage lights turned off and goad the crowd into lighting up preceedings with their phones, a ‘put your lighters in the air’ moment for the 21st Century. After a track with a South American vibe, the band leads the crowd in a chant of “Olé! Olé! Olé!”, to which one cheeky member of those assembled begins to sing ‘Put ’em under pressure! (We’re all part of Jackie’s Army)’.
Providing support is local Sarah-Beth and her band who blend hip-hop, soul, and anti-folk. She explores a more restrained approach, but her five piece do employ a slight funk on their upbeat tracks. Her vocal approach is half sung and half rapped which adds an unusual element to her soulful piano-led approach.
Check out our gallery of the gig below with photography by Shane J Horan.