Thursday, January 26, 2006


Readers in Chicago may well know the sound of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, (or, just Hypnotic). A couple of days ago, they turned up in NY. Having been turned onto them by a friend who knows, I just happened to catch wind of that sound on the down escalator in the Times Sq. subway station that night. There they were, pulling a crowd, selling cds.

Their name is apt. They create an aural hypnosis, with this eerie sound that calls to mind all kinds of horn music (for me, Rebirth, Skatalites) but is entirely its own thing, utterly melodic and chordal. You can get totally lost in it, like I did, standing there for half an hour last night. And when they break it down, the way they bob their horns in unison, that's hypnotic too.

To me, seeing and hearing them in person was out-of-body. But I'm given to that kind of rapturous exaggeration when things hit me on an emotional level. Much of their stuff is...sad. It's mournful or regretful or something amorphous like that that doesn't make you cry or depressed, just makes you all warmly melancholy.

The band is made up of (I think it's) eight sons of Chicago jazz great Kelan Phil Cohran. This track is from their second cd, which, as far as I can tell, can only be purchased direct via phone at 773-264-6573.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Birthday
Buy it! ph: 773-264-6573


  • At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, I just listend to your tune, Birthday, online. It's absolutely brilliant!! I play trumpet too, and I'm extremely impressed with the talent involed. Is there any possibilty you could post a CD to Ireland??? :D

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kurtis of Rambis Manor said…

    You'll have to get in touch with the band themselves-- the way to do that is to call US phone # 773-264-6573 and have them send it to you.

  • At 8:38 PM, Anonymous bill benzon said…

    Heard them today (31 Jan 2006) in the Union Square subway station in New York City. Slammin' music.

  • At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Birthday
    Buy it! ph: 773-264-6573

    1-31-06 Union Square NYC

    Hearing them live was so AMAZING - I felt like crying at certain points because their music is so powerful and from the heart. A hypnotic blend of Jazz and street performance.

    Whenever I see musicians with instruments that are tattered from play especially clarinets I want to fix them. Today I realized that pure heart, fierce talent, and a tuba being held together with duct tape is beautiful and not to be fixed.

    I hope to see them again live.


  • At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It would be great if they played in Grand Central.

  • At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i ran into them in... i believe union square as well....

    Im not really into contempo jazz.... or big band....

    Ive always like dixieland.....

    these boys are none of the kind....

    its like this tripped out hybrid of herb alpert and big brass.... i am obviously no expert on the genre but i know what i like- and I LIKED THIS.

  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger Moxie said…

    Wish Blogspot would allow trackbacks.

    I linked to your blog from mine about trying to find Hypnotic to buy a CD for my 4-year-old, who is crazy about them. Thanks for putting up the mp3!

  • At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Phone is disconnected! I would like to book Hypnotic for an upcoming art opening. Please email me.


  • At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I randomly ran across Hypnotic in Union Sq. Station last week - wow! I was able to get a rough video of one of their songs, the whole place was packed and rockin' right at the height of rushour, NYC at its best and Hypnotic is awesome...I uploaded to You Tube: - enjoy!

    Matt Bauer

  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger KelanZulu-Productions said…

    Here is the You Tube link to Bro Phil peformance on Chi ca ca go

    And Hypnotic Brass Video for War


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