The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Al Kooper - The Landlord (1970)

1. Brand New Day
2. The Landlord
3. Car Commercial
4. Walter G's Boogaloo
5. Croquet Game
6. Let Me Love You
7. Lainie's Theme
8. Rent Party
9. Elgar's Fantasy
10. Love Theme
11. Soul Hoedown
12. Doin' Me Dirty
13. Brand New Day
14. The Axe
15. God Bless The Children
Al Kooper plays guitar and organ on this rocky score. Other musicians of note include bassman Chuck Rainey and Steve Cropper. There's a small-group funk studio band who play three great, tight, brass-heavy tracks that are worth the price of the LP. The theme is excellent, dancefloor-friendly funk.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Osibisa - Superfly T.N.T (1973)

1. T.N.T.
2. Superfly Man
3. Prophets
4. The Vicarage
5. Oye Mama
6. Brotherhood
7. Come Closer (if you're a man)
8. Kelele
9. La Ila I La La
An interesting but not entirely satisfying album from Osibisa, a surprise choice to score the second Superfly film. The sound is African in influence with hints of funk.

Soul Sisters - X Rated Blaxploitation

1. Some jive ass wasting my time
2. Theme song from _The turtle
3. Oh my, no white boy ever done me like that before
4. Theme from _Chocolate Cherry
5. Music from _Copper Cuties
6. Samantha's song
7. Jam back at the ho' house

Awesome soundtrack. Blaxploitation porn Music.

Johnny Pate - Shaft In Africa (1973)

1. You can't even walk in the park (opening theme)
2. Are you man enough (main title)
3. Aleme finds Shaft
4. Shaft in Africa (Addis)
5. Headman
6. El Jardia
7. Are you man enough
8. Jazar's theme
9. Truck stop
10. Aleme's reprise
11. El Jardia (reprise)
12. Are you man enough (end title)
One of the undisputed classics of the blaxploitation soundtrack. The weak tracks, of which there are few, are massively outweighed by the sheer exuberance of the great funk material on the album. A guaranteed dance-floor monster, featuring a superb vocal number by The Four Tops at their peak, and simply magnificent keyboard-driven big band funk from Johnny Pate. An essential album.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Ohio Players - Mr. Mean (1977)

1. Mr. Mean
2. Fight Me, Chase Me
3. Controller's Mind
4. Big Score
5. Magic Trick
6. Good Luck Charm
7. Speak Easy
For the Ohio Players, a relatively subtle cover, and it's a fairly obscure blaxploitation album too, taken from a late 70s Fred Williamson flick. So what about the music? Interesting, definitely interesting. The Ohio Players were never the funkiest of funk bands, often adding a little too much rock to their sound for most funk enthusiasts. For this album, they stray away from their usual multi-layered vocal, add some more brass and analogue synth to the mix. Obviously viewed as an album that gave them more room to experiment, many of the tracks on here are instrumental and played in odd time signatures, but still groove. Don't expect a dancefloor bomb, but it's a good listen, with plenty of samples to boot.

Diana Ross - Mahogany (1975)

1. Theme: Do You Know Where You're Going To
2. Feeling Again
3. You Don't Ever Have To Be Alone
4. Can You Hear It In My Music
5. Christian's Theme
6. After You
7. Theme: Do You Know Where You're Going To (Instrumental)
8. My Hero Is A Gun
9. Cat Fight
10. Erucu
11. Let's Go Back To Day One
12. Tracy - Gil Askey Listen Listen
13. She's The Ideal Girl
14. Sweets (And Other Things)
15. Mahogany Suite
Diana Ross filmed two movies in the early 1970s, Lady Sings The Blues and this, the later Berry Gordy-funded Mahogany. While much of the album is standard Diana Ross / Motown fodder, there are two interesting funk cuts on the second side of the album that merit a listen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gault McDarmot - Cotton Comes To Harlem (1970)


1. Cotton Comes To Harlem - George Tipton
2. Coffin Ed And Grave Digger
3. Going Home - Sakinah
4. Sunlight Shining - Leta Galloway
5. Man In Distress
6. Harlem Medley
7. Black Enough - Melba Moore
8. Stockyard
9. The Loving Ballad - Denise Dillapena
10. Deke
11. Down In My Soul - Leta Galloway
12. Harlem By Day
13. My Salvation - Melba Moore
14. Ed And Digger
This soundtrack was written by the artist behind the musical 'Hair', Galt McDermot. An early and entertaining entry into 1970s black cinema, the album is equally rewarding and slightly tongue-in-cheek. There are some great groovy vocal numbers - the theme is noteworthy - and a few good instrumentals.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Blackbyrds - Cornbread, Earl, and Me (1975)

1. Cornbread
2. One-Eye Two-Step
3. Mother/Son Theme
4. Heavy Town
5. One Gun Salute
6. Gym Fight
7. Riot
8. Soulful Source
9. Mother/Son Talk
10. At the Carnival
11. Candy Store Dilemma
12. Wilford's Gone
13. Mother/Son Bedroom Talk
14. Courtroom Emotions
15. Cornbread
Donald Byrd and The Blackbyrds entered the blaxploitation soundtrack arena fairly late in the day with this LP for Fantasy Records. The film's subject matter is not standard blaxploitation fare, being a socially-aware story about a young basketball player. The album has its moments, a great theme is particularly notable along with some strong Blackbyrds-style jazz-funk instrumentals, but it's not up to the standard of their early studio LPs.

Johnny Pate - Bucktown (1975)

1 - Main Theme
2 - Chase
3 - Love Theme
4 - Freeze
5 - Have a Good Time
6 - Check In
7 - Bar Fly
8 - Stepping
9 - Call It In
10 - Sneaking In
11 - Spin
12 - Tank Theme
13 - End Theme
14 - Chase (Part 2
15 - Love Theme (Reprise)
16 - Recon
17 - Fun for All
18 - Pay Off
19 - End Theme
20 - Dialogue

Funky music, dialogue and sound effects from the 1975 blaxploitation movie Bucktown starring Fred Williamson and Pam Grier. This is great for DJ/producers - with plenty of funky 70s music and dialogue to scratch or sample.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Various Artist - Rockers (1979)

1. We 'A' Rockers - Inner Circle
2. Money Worries - Maytones
3. Police and Thieves - Murvin, Junior
4. Book of Rules - Heptones
5. Stepping Razor - Tosh, Peter
6. Tenement Yard - Miller, Jacob
7. Fade Away - Byles, Junior
8. Rockers - Wailer, Bunny
9. Slave Master - Isaacs, Gregory
10. Dread Lion
11. Graduation in Zion - Kiddus I
12. Jah No Dead - Burning Spear
13. Satta Massagana
14. Natty Take Over

I'm sure you will enjoy this.

Mavis Staples & Curtis Mayfield - A Piece of the Action (1977)

1. Chocolate City
2. Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid
3. Orientation
4. Piece of the Action
5. Good Lovin' Daddy
6. 'Til Blossoms Bloom
7. Koochie Koochie Koochie
8. Getting Deeper
Not Curtis Mayfield's best, this album nevertheless showcases the great voice of Mavis Staples and contains several interesting, almost P-funk style, instrumentals.

Movie Review
A Piece of the Action (1977)

Isaac Hayes - Truck Turner (1974)

1. Main Title Truck Turner
2. House Of Beauty
3. Blues Crib
4. Driving In The Sun
5. Breakthrough
6. Now Were One
7. The Duke
8. Dorindas Party
9. Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile
10. We Need Each Other Girl
11. A House Full Of Girls
12. Hospital Shoutout
13. Youre In My Arms Again
14. Give It To Me
15. Drinking
16. The Insurance Company
17. End Theme
Once again Isaac Hayes produces a fine funk soundtrack. Surprisingly difficult to obtain on vinyl, this album contains the full nine-plus minutes of "Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile", as fine a funk instrumental as you'll find on any soundtrack album. The vocal tracks are strong, and there's an over-driven funk-rock instrumental "Breakthrough" that's worth the price of the album.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Last Poets - Right On! (1970)

1. Jibard/My Pretty Nigger
2. Been Done Already
3. Hey Now
4. Die Nigga!!!
5. Un Rifle/Oracion-Rifle Player
6. Tell Me Brother
7. Black Woman
8. James Brown
9. Soul
10. Today Is A Killer
11. Little Willie Armstrong Jones
12. Puerto Rican Rhythms
13. Poetry Is Black
14. Jazz
15. The Shalimar
16. Into The Streets
17. Alley
18. The Library
Allegedly from the hit movie 'Right On!', the soundtrack only features the title track from the movie. It's an entirely performance poetry LP as you might expect from the Last Poets; interesting and thought-provoking, good for samples (some nice conga playing) but not one for the dancefloor.

Melvin Van Peebles - Don't Play Us Cheap (1972)

1. You Out up the Clothes in the Closet of My Dreams
2. Break That Party and Opening
3. Eight Day Week
4. Bowsers Thing
5. Book of Life
6. Quittin' Time
7. Ain't Love Grand
8. I'm a Bad Character
9. Know Your Business
10. Feast on Me
11. Ain't Love Grand
12. Break That Party
13. Someday It Seems That It Just Don't Even Pay to Get Out of Bed
14. Quartet
15. Phoney Game
16. It Makes No Difference
17. Bad Character Bossa Nova
18. Quarter
19. Washingtons Thing
20. (If You See a Devil) Smash Him
A two record set from the prolific Melvin Van Peebles of Sweet Sweetback fame. Taken from a musical comedy, as you'd expect there are plenty of vocal or ensemble numbers. They're backed by a really groovy jazz band comprising strong horn section, back line, guitar and piano. And these cats can play! Once let loose on the instrumentals you get to hear them let rip properly. Check out the excellent funky soul jazz of 'The Washingtons Thing' to hear the best cut off the album - buy for that track and you won't regret it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Various Artist - Cooley High (1975)

1. Baby Love - Diana Ross & The Supremes
2. Fingertips - Stevie Wonder
3. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) - Four Tops
4. Stop! In The Name Of Love - Diana Ross & The Supremes
5. Luther's Blues - Luther Allison
6. Dancing In The Street - Martha & The Vandellas
7. Beechwood 45789 - The Marvelettes
8. OOO Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
9. (You Can) Depend On Me - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
10. Cleo's Mood - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
11. Money (That's What I Want) - Barrett Strong
12. You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
13. 2 Pigs And A Hog - Freddie Perren
14. My Girl - The Temptations
15. Sweet First Love - Freddie Perren
16. Three AM...I Love You Mama - Freddie Perren
17. (I'm A) Road Runner - Jr. Walker & The All Stars
18. Mickey's Monkey - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
19. Haulin' - Freddie Perren
20. Cold Blooded - Freddie Perren
21. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - G.C. Cameron
22. Reach Out I'll Be There - Four Tops

This soundtrack features Motown artist and several well-known hits.

Norman Whitfield - Car Wash (1976)

1. Car Wash
2. Six O'Clock Dj-Lets Rock
3. I Wanna Get Next To You
4. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
5. Zig Zag
6. You're On My Mind
7. Mid Day Dy Theme
8. Born To Love You
9. Daddy Rich
10. Richard Pryor Dialogue/Rich Reprise
11. you Gotta Believe
12. I'm Going Down
13. Yo Yo
14. Sunrise
15. Righteous Rhythm
16. Water
17. Crying
18. Doin' What Comes Naturally
19. Keep On Keepin' On
An undisputed classic soundtrack. One of the few tracks guaranteed to get a funk fan moving at a wedding disco, 'Carwash' is a great funk album. Norman Whitfield, the producer responsible for turning the Motown sound into funk, wrote some seriously groovy tracks for the Richard Pryor movie. 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' and 'Zig Zag' are only two of the great tracks on this album. But you already knew that, right?

Ed Bogas - Black Girl (1972)

1. Black Girl (sung by Betty Everett)
2. B.J.'s Step
3. Get Me To The Bridge (sung by Rodger Collins)
4. Mother's Day Song | Power (trumpet solo: John Hunt)
5. Mother's Day Song II
6. Black Girl Cue (saxophone by Sonny Stitt)
7. No World For Dreamers
8. I Am Your Mailman (sung by Rodger Collins)
9. What It Is
10. Earl (Still A Pearl)
11. Chock-lite Puddin (organ solo by Merl Saunders)
12. Black Girl Cue II
13. Chock-lite Puddin' Cue
14. Sister
Once again Fantasy called on their regular artists Ed Bogas and Ray Shanklin to put together a soundtrack to a movie that received good reviews from the white critics of the time. The music has a happy feel, an exuberance which is obviously present in the film. It's mainly instrumental and of a high standard, featuring big name jazz players of the 70's. Look out particularly for "B.J's Step".