Monday, August 2, 2010

Wheedle's Groove by Jennifer Maas (Documentary). Philadelphia Independent Film Festival review.

Posted: Underground Film Forum / Philadelphia Independent Film festival

Amy Leonard

Screening -
Title: Wheedle's Groove (Feature)
Director: Jennifer Mass
Movie (IMDB) Site: Wheedle's Groove

With interviews, footage, and recordings chronicling the music scene in Seattle from the 1960's through today, Jennifer Maas's documentary Wheedle's Groove provides and in-depth look at black music in the Pacific Northwest. The documentary discusses the scene as a whole, but focuses on groups such as The Black and White Affair, Cookin' Bag, and several others. Despite the obvious talent and drive found in these groups, none of them made it big due to a number of factors - race, politics, location, and luck. However, their records live on, and many of the former members continue to perform and make music today.

Heavily influenced and intertwined with politics, segregation, and race, much of the 60's and 70's black music was rife with political and social commentary. Due to a lack of radio outlets and venues for black musical groups, their music stayed relatively hidden beneath more prominent white bands. White clubs refused to allow black bands to play at their establishments, and white radio stations turned many black artists away - all while hiring similar-sounding white groups. However, several commercial success stories from Seattle (such as Quincy Jones) fueled the ambitions of black groups. Despite their inability to break into a larger market, these bands hold a valuable place in musical history - and in the record collections of music enthusiasts.

Wheedle's Groove sheds light on a musical movement that took place while the world had their eyes and ears elsewhere. What this soulful music lacks in popularity and prominence, it makes up for in attitude and spirit.

RT: 82:00 min
Language: English

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