Jungle
Thunder Soul

Thunder Soul

Movie
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Sep 23, 2011
Grade:
B-
Running Time: 
83 minutes

From the late 60s until the late 70s the high school stage band scene was dominated by the Kashmere Stage Band led by Conrad "Prof" Johnson. This all black group of teenage students brought a whole new atmosphere to the competitions with their original funk performances that went well beyond typical routines scene before. In essence, they were unbeatable.

Nearly 30 years later, the original members of the band have reunited to pay tribute to Prof, now in his nineties, and to reminisce about the good old times they had together. Oh, and play wonderful music as well, that is, if they still got it.

Thunder Soul tells the story about a stage band that not only revolutionized the high school competition scene but also music in general. Led by the legendary Prof, the band provided gave the students something to be proud of, something at which they can excel at. For most of them, they wouldn’t be here to tell this story if it weren’t for Prof and the Kashmere Stage Band.

The documentary explores the origins of the band and how it grew from just another high school band into a dominating force in competitions. It’s all told directly by the students themselves as they reunite to play once again in honor of Prof, their teacher and father figure for many. It’s a great blend of lively music and emotional storytelling that’ll keep you hooked in after the first note is played.

It’s interesting to see how influential the Kashmere Stage Band was. In addition to winning all sorts of competitions, they released multiple albums and even toured the world. Their unique style of music has gone on to influence many of today’s funk and jazz melodies, no doubt.

Part high school reunion, part tribute, Thunder Soul manages to entertain and enlighten. If there’s one music documentary you see this year, make it this one.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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