Thursday, September 15

Thunder Soul

Jake Dockter hooked me up with a preview of Thunder Soul, which will be released next week. And I'm glad he did.

At first you think that it's a documentary about an all-black 1970's high school jazz band which reunites after 30 years to play a concert in honor of their teacher, "Prof" Conrad Johnson. And indeed it is a documentary. But a multi-layered true story unfolds -- complete with a little drama -- about musicianship, potential, racism, school politics... A talented musician bypasses a professional career to teach and mentor high school students. They develop into a tight, professional quality, jazz/funk band -- earning trophy after trophy and touring around the world. Their recordings are still in distribution.

Enough background. The story is believable, well presented, and understated. There were points where it brought tears to my eyes. Mostly, though, it brought joy.

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