NOW...Stony Island has been the birthplace of great American music and amazing musical talent, nurturing the likes of my fifty year brother, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Kahn, Curtis Mayfield and Maurice White. I'm also a kid from the South side of Chicago. Music makes us all one and STONY ISLAND is a testament to music being the world's common language. This timeless movie is filled with big-time heart and soul. From the Gene Barge tenor sax version of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, to the guitarist's guitarist Phil Upchurch, one of my all time favorites - this flick is kicking!
- Quincy Jones
...AND THENWailing, pulsing energy…Pure in heart, few films look better.
- Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times
Hurrah for "Stony Island!" An original, free spirited, imaginative movie, miles ahead of Grease…There is so much talent and promise in evidence here…a blank endorsement.
- Bruce Williamson, Playboy
This unpretentious movie captures the jazz soul of Chicago like no film I have ever seen. If the purpose of regional filmmaking is to convey the authentic spirit of areas of this country off the Hollywood-New York axis, "Stony Island" is an admirable affirmation of the validity of this concept.
- Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter
STONY ISLAND IS A JOY…A RIGHT ON, NO JIVE MOVIE ABOUT A GANG OF SOUTH CHICAGO KIDS WHO MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TOGETHER. It's been a long time since anyone's made cinema this intimate, yet for all its home-movie ambience, 'STONY ISLAND' never loses the fine brassy buzz of professionalism.
- Jeffrey Ressner, Los Angeles Weekly
BOUNCY, LIVELY, ENGAGING… An easy-going, cheerful movie that captures a city's spirit with a certain refreshing cynicism.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
IT'S EXHILARATING AND IT'S FUNNY, IT'S JOYOUS AND IT'S SPONTANEOUS, IT'S INSPIRING AND IT FEELS GOOD. STONY ISLAND is what musicals were always meant to be: a genuine celebration of life and living spiced up with humor and fantasy, peopled with real and amiable characters and literally filled with good music…IT BREATHES WITH EXCITEMENT; IT'S ALIVE!
- Samir Hachem, Drama-Logue
SPINS A TALE WITH SAVORING VITALITY AROUND THE HOPES AND INSPIRATIONS OF YOUNG ARTISTS. Both musically and dramatically, 'STONY ISLAND' is one of the most significant film musicals produced. It is thought-provoking, sensitive in humanitarian overtones and remarkable for its ever-flowing suspense.
- Earl Calloway, Chicago Defender
JAZZY, JOYOUS, MOVIE MAKING…A film that cares…a visual poem about how culture grows on people. Movies like this ought to be compulsory viewing.
- Myron Meisel, Los Angeles Reader
WITH A SWINGING SCORE AND INFECTIOUS ENERGY… Chicago has never looked so good.
- Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle