Curtis Mayfield. The Chi-Lites. Chaka Khan. Chicago’s place in the history of soul music is rock solid. But for Chicagoans, soul music in its heyday from the 1960s to the 1980s was more than just a series of hits: it was a marker and a source of black empowerment. In Move On Up, Aaron Cohen tells the story of the explosion of soul music in Chicago.
... a meticulously reported and illuminating social history that has more on its mind than simply replaying greatest hits ... Cohen conducted just over 100 interviews spanning two decades. They capture still vibrant living witnesses to this pivotal era in Chicago music ... vividly chronicles several benchmarks in the evolution of Chicago soul and R&B.
Some of the biggest names in African American music populate Cohen’s vivid history of soul music in Chicago ... A richly knowledgeable, deeply considered, and important addition to the history of African American music and its impact on Chicago and beyond.
Aaron Cohen’s book Move On Up....unifies Chicago’s musicians by looking beyond their work and examining what went on behind and around it. By asking 'why?' rather than simply 'what?', he shines a light on what they had in common, presenting a viable, forward-facing community with the wide umbrella of Chicago funk as both its driving force and its end product. It is an absorbing approach, locating the music squarely within the culture that created it ... Move On Up is a fascinating deep dive into a city’s evolving black presence. It avoids any stylistic squabbles or narrowing categorization, making it far easier to understand and appreciate such diverse acts as Ramsey Lewis, the Chi-Lites, Chaka Khan and Terry Callier as part of the same rounded and often surprising movement.