Take the heady musical amalgam of Detroit in the seventies and eighties, factor in some of the hottest musical styles in contemporary jazz and what do you have? The answer is the The Brotherhood which finds legendary ‘Motor City’ session men Jerry Jones, Jervonny Collier and Bruce Nazarian in the choice company of fellow Detroiters Mark Nilan and Kenny Meriedeth plus noted vocalist “Sir” Harry Bowens, whose distinctive voice has been featured on many hit songs including the seminal Was (Not Was) hit ‘Walk The Dinosaur’.
Now, drawn together by their mutual love of funk, jazz, and soul, The Brotherhood is poised to break out later this year with their own special brand of funky/jazzy music which, if their collective track record is anything to go by, is sure to be right on the money. Hailing from Detroit, these musicians have collectively participated in hundreds of successful recordings, and played sessions with many of the original Motown Funk Brothers. Indeed, so deep was their interaction with these legendary Motown musicians, they lovingly refer to themselves as “The Funk Cousins”.
Back in the day, musical chameleon and guitarist Bruce Nazarian combined with drummer Jerry Jones to assemble an A-team of fellow Detroit studio musicians and in so doing created the aptly named ‘A-Band’ that by 1979, and with the addition of Meriedeth and Randy Jacobs, had become ‘The Automatix’. Essentially a fusion of rock and soul influences, The Automatix was signed to MCA records in 1981, and, shortly afterwards, released its debut LP ‘Night Rider’. This special blend of rock, soul and R&B music ignited a passion that has survived the decades.
Fast forward thirty-some years and after many years as a sought after digital media specialist, Nazarian has returned to music production along with old Detroit friends Jones, Collier, Nilan, Meriedeth and Bowens (and some new friends too), aiming to rekindle the kind of musical Detroit magic that never gets old.
Collier has been the bassist in Bruce Hornsby’s band for almost twenty years, and a highly regarded studio musician. In The Brotherhood he is in the good company of drummer Jerry Jones who, in an amazing career, has performed with everyone from Stanley Turrentine to Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Nilan is a former musical director for many top jazz acts in Detroit, a first call studio musician and successful composer. Meriedeth is an in-demand guitarist and game music composer now living in L.A. while completing the line-up is much traveled vocalist Bowens, whose distinctive tones have graced recordings such as Bonnie Raitt’s Grammy-winning ‘Nick Of Time’.
The Brotherhood is more than a title and more than a band. It is about collective musical passion and decades of musical solidarity. Watch out for them on the club and concert scene soon.