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With: Richard "Pistol" Allen, Jack "Black Jack" Ashford, Bob Babbitt, Johnny Griffith, Joe Hunter, Uriel Jones, Joe Messina, Eddie "Chank" Willis, Benny "Papa Zita" Benjamin, James "Igor" Jamerson, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, Earl "Chunk of Funk" Van Dyke, Robert White, Joan Osborne, Gerald Levert, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bootsy Collins, Ben Harper, Chaka Khan, Montel Jordan, Tom Scott, Don Was, Andre Braugher (narrator)
Written by: Walter Dallas, Ntozake Shange, based on the book by Alan Slutsky
Directed by: Paul Justman
MPAA Rating: PG for language and thematic elements
Running Time: 116
Date: 05/11/2002

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Reach Out, They'll Be There

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I missed this excellent documentary in the theater, but I was able to make up for that by blasting the crisp sound through my home speakers. More than just a collection of oldies or a reunion tour, the movie introduces us to the Funk Brothers, who provided the backbone for nearly every big hit Motown ever had. The interviews are lively with lots of shop talk and the live performances sound amazingly fresh -- even after decades of performing the same songs, the energy never flags. Artisan's two-disc set comes with stacks and stacks of extras.

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