In November of 2002, a long-anticipated music documentary titled “Standing In The Shadows Of Motown” made it’s world premier at New York’s Apollo Theater. The sonic tsunami it set in motion that night is still reverberating a decade later. The film’s subject, the legendary Motown studio band of the ‘60s known as the Funk Brothers, became an overnight sensation, touring the world and being honored with Presidential audiences and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Recording Academy. Two of their members, drummer Benny Benjamin and the tormented genius of the Fender bass, James Jamerson, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The film itself racked up thousands of media hits, a dozen film awards and two Grammys, while selling over a million DVDs. A decade later, it continues to make its presence felt through continuous rotation on Showtime, FLIX, Turner Movie Classics and other TV channels.
In honor of the film’s tenth anniversary, a new show called Standing In The Shadows Of Motown LIVE! will continue the tradition. The music of James Jamerson will be front and center in this production, which features an electrifying eleven-piece band comprised of sidemen veterans from the Funk Brothers’ film and tours, members of the band from the National touring company of the Broadway show “The Color Purple,” and Standing In The Shadows Of Motown’s producer and creator Allan Slutsky.
Heralded R&B master and multi-Grammy winner Peabo Bryson and STAX recording artist and BET-TV personality Leela James will front the band while James Jamerson Jr.—the only bass player alive who plays exactly like his father—will be holding down the groove on two dozen Motown songs. As he delivers heartfelt reminiscences and side-splitting anecdotes, dozens of projected images and video from the movie will appear on a 9 X 12 screen above the band. And in the process, that tiny basement studio on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard—the one that gave birth to all those groundbreaking Funk Brothers tracks—will come alive once again to remind us what ‘60s soul was all about.
Peabo Bryson, Leela James & James Jamerson Jr. »