Immediate Family

Denny Tedesco’s Immediate Family is the ideal spiritual sequel to his doc debut The Wrecking Crew, and a great example of a comfort film.  I’ve seen this documentary twice now: once to review it, the second just to revisit the groovy atmosphere.

Immediate Family, named after the band that was conceptualized by its legendary musicians after years of working together, fittingly picks up after The Wrecking Crew era.  The Wrecking Crew consisted of musicians working on a grand scale to help flesh out big band tunes.  But with an exciting new movement of singer-songwriters rolling its way into pop culture, headliners were more interested in more intimate production qualities.  Cue guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Waddy Wachtel, along with drummer Russ Kunkel and bassist Leland Sklar, whose audible fingerprints can be heard on songs that would go on to be rock and folk classics. 

To spoil any of these musical collaborations would be removing an element of surprise to Immediate Family, unless you’re an avid fan of these subjects.  In that case, the documentary will still find ways to catch you off guard with exclusive behind-the-scenes stories.

Tedesco’s sophomore doc follows a similar storytelling structure as The Wrecking Crew, allowing the audience to essentially “hang out” with esteemed musicians as they recount the past and shoot the breeze with each other.  This maintains a consistency to this series, if the director chooses to continue on this musical journey.  It’s crucial to highlight how Tedesco has improved on the storytelling flow of this narrative.  Some stories still receive abrupt edits as the movie shifts between the artists in this quad, but the way the movie is able to educate viewers on eras of music while staying true to its personal touch is nothing short of impressive.  It’s just as much of a joy watching these musicians jam as it is to watch them inspire each other.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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