Standing in the Shadows of Motown
Time Out saysFine documentary, ten years in the making, on the adumbrated musicians largely responsible for the unique sound of Motown, the Detroit-based record label, playing on hits by Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and the rest. Based on a book by Allan Slutsky and built around a tribute concert featuring passionate performances from the likes of Joan Osborne and Chaka Khan, the film offers revealing interviews with the surviving members of the self-named Funk Brothers, and details the histories and contributions of such talented luminaries as 'Black Jack' Ashford, Joe Messina, Joe Hunter and James Jamerson. It also adds a couple of dramatised period reconstructions to get across the flavour of Mowtown's '60s heyday. Musically illuminating, and very enjoyable for the songs alone.