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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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Various Artist - Honey Baby, Honey Baby (1975)

1. Titles And Openings (feat. Weldon Irvine)
2. Honey Baby Theme (Friends Of Distinction)
3. (A Song For Diana) Hey, Hey Star (vocals by Zulema and Friends Of Distinction)
4. Just Can't Say Goodbye (vocals by Zulema)
5. Salt Chase
6. Baalbeck
7. Nowhere (feat. Nat Adderley Jr., Friends Of Distinction and Tender Loving Care)
8. Honey Baby Theme (instr.)
This soundtrack features Friends of Distinction and Weldon Irvine. It's a good album, full of clean mid 70's funk instrumentals and strong vocal numbers. It's a lush, full orchestral sound, clean but featuring big beats. "Title Theme and Openings" starts the LP in strong funk style.

Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come (1972)

1. You Can Get It If You Really Want
2. Draw Your Breaks - Scotty
3. Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
4. Many Rivers To Cross
5. Sweet And Dandy - The Maytals
6. The Harder They Come
7. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
8. 007 (Shanty Town) - Desmond Dekker
10. Sitting In Limbo
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want
12. The Harder They Come
In 1973, when the movie The Harder They Come was released, reggae was not on the radar screen of American pop culture. The soundtrack went a ways toward changing that situation. It is a collection of consistently excellent early reggae songs by artists who went on to thrive with reggae's increased popularity and others for whom this is the most well-known vehicle. Jimmy Cliff is both the star of the movie and the headliner on the soundtrack. He contributes three excellent songs: the hymnal "Many Rivers to Cross," "You Can Get It If You Really Want," and "The Harder They Come" (the latter two are repeated at the end of the album, but you probably wanted to hear them again anyway). Interestingly, the better production values of his songs actually seems to detract from them when compared to the rougher, but less sanitized, mixes of the other tracks. All the songs on this collection are excellent, but some truly stand out. Toots & the Maytals deliver two high-energy songs with "Sweet and Dandy" and "Pressure Drop" (covered by the Clash among others). Scotty develops a mellow, loping groove on "Stop That Train" (not the same as the Wailers' song by the same name) and the Slickers prove on "Johnny Too Bad" that you don't have to spout profanity or graphic violence to convey danger. The Harder They Come is strongly recommended both for the casual listener interested in getting a sense of reggae music and the more serious enthusiast. Collections don't come much better than this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quincy Jones - In The Heat Of The Night (1967)

01 - Ray Charles , In the Heat of the Night.mp3
02 - Peep-Freak Patrol Car.mp3
03 - Cotton curtain.mp3
04 - Where Whitey Ain't Around.mp3
05 - Whipping Boy.mp3
06 - No You Won't.mp3
07 - (Movie Dialogue) , Keep Cool.mp3
08 - Nitty Gritty Time.mp3
09 - Gil Bernal , It Sure Is Groovy!.mp3
10 - Glen Campbell , Bowlegged Polly.mp3
11 - (Movie Dialogue) , That's Enough for Me.mp3
12 - Shag Bag, Hounds & Harvey.mp3
13 - Chief's Drive to Mayor.mp3
14 - Give Me Until Morning.mp3
15 - (Movie Dialogue) , The Wrong Man.mp3
16 - On Your Feet, Boy!.mp3
17 - Blood & Roots.mp3
18 - Ray Charles , Mama Caleba's Blues.mp3
19 - Boomer & Travis , Foul Owl.mp3
Composer, arranger, and producer Quincy Jones was a youthful veteran of pop, jazz, and r&b when he began creating film and television music in the late '60s, and he brought those lessons to bear on vivid, contemporary music that broke from Hollywood's dependence on conventional orchestration. Although not the first film composer to lean heavily on jazz, Jones was unusually versatile in effectively coupling jazz, blues, and soul accents as he did in the brooding, bluesy score for 1968's In The Heat Of The Night [...] — noteworthy for a terrific main title song featuring Ray Charles. [...] --Sam Sutherland

[...] The funky, southern soul of In The Heat Of The Night features Glen Campbell on banjo, Billy Preston on Organ, Ray Brown on bass, Rahsaan Roland Kirk on flute, and the Raelettes

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Smokey Robinson - Big Time (1977)

1. Theme From 'Big Time'
2. J.J's Theme
3. He Is The Light Of The World
4. So Nice To Be With U
5. Shana's Theme
6. Hip Trip
7. If We're Gonna Act Like Lovers
8. The Agony & The Ecstacy
9. Theme From 'Big Time' (Reprise)
A late entry into the flagging blaxploitation genre, this 1977 effort by Smokey Robinson sees him adopt typical blaxploitation instrumentation and feel while retaining some sweeter soul moments too. The best funk moments are the great theme and its reprise - both nice dancefloor chunky groovers in a late 70s straight feel (kind of Car Wash style) with good guitar, Rhodes and synth bass work. The other cuts on the album are a little too smooth and over-produced, but for a cheap and easy to find album, it's a steal.

Movie review
Big Time (1977)

Various Artist - The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)

1. A Theme For L.A.'s Team
2. Magic Mona
3. Mighty Mighty Pisces
4. (Do it, Do it) No One Does It Better
5. The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
6. Moses Theme
7. Chance Of A Lifetime
8. Follow Every Dream
9. Ragtime
10. It Is Love, Must Be Love
Appearing on many writers' Top Ten worst sports movies of all time, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh might have been an air ball at the box office, but the music for the movie is nothing but net. This fairly obscure album features music arranged and conducted by Thom Bell, with many guests appearing throughout. Fans of the Spinners, the Sylvers, and the Four Tops are treated to deep, rich, textured vocals as well as full funky instrumentation. "Moses Theme," sung by Frankie Bleu, showcases a laid-back '70s groove with an emotional string arrangement coupled with strong bass and percussion. The Four Tops' instantly singable "Chance of a Lifetime" features catchy lyrics that pop over a funk string hook and infectious rhythm. William Hart's falsetto vocals on "Follow Every Dream" serve as a smooth ride over more outstanding arrangements reminiscent of Bell's work with the Spinners. Other standout tracks include "(Do It, Do It) No One Does It Better," "Mighty Mighty Pisces," and the title song. It's a shame that only a limited quantity of "promotional only" records made it to stores in 1979, probably due to the poor attendance at movie theaters. This soundtrack is overlooked as a fitting addition to the soul masterpieces of the '70s, filled with hope, hard work, and dreams

Thanks Big Speech

Gordon Parks - Shaft's Big Score (1972)

1. Blowin´ Your Mind (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
2. The Other Side
3. Smart Money
4. First Meeting
5. Asby-Kelly Man
6. Don´t Misunderstand (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
7. Move On In (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
8. Symphony For Shafted Souls

Thanks Simon666
Hayes’s two singles released in 1972 related to M-G-M productions:
“Theme From The Men” (a TV theme) and “Type Thang” (used in Shaft’s
Big Score!). The second Shaft film, Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), was
scored by the director of the first two installments, Gordon Parks,
when Hayes was unavailable. Parks was a multitalented musician, poet,
author and photographer, in addition to filmmaker, who had scored his
directorial debut, 1969’s The Learning Tree, and was technically
assisted on his film scores (as was Hayes on Shaft) by Tom McIntosh.
The Shaft’s Big Score! soundtrack called upon an earlier, Duke
Ellington-style of sophisticated jazz compared to Hayes’s Memphis-style
R&B, with a bravura climactic chase (“Symphony for Shafted Souls”)
that has long made the soundtrack LP a treasured collectible. The
complete soundtrack is presented here.

'Shaft's Big Score' - Gordon Parks (1972) from the Shaft Anthology: His Big Score and More! (1971-1974)

01 Blowin´ Your Mind (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
02 The Other Side
03 Smart Money
04 The Search;Sad Circles
05 Asby-Kelly Man
06 First Meeting
07 Don´t Misunderstand (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
08 Fight Scene
09 Ike's Place
10 Move On It (Vocal : O.C. Smith)
11 8M1; 8M2
12 Funeral Home
13 Don´t Misunderstand (Instrumental)
14 9M3
15 Symphony For Shafted Souls (The Big Chase) Take Off / Dance of the Cars / Water Ballet (Part I) / Water Ballet (Part II) / Call and Response / The Last Amen.
16 End Title
17 Don´t Misunderstand (Demo)
18 Type Thang (Instrumental)

Composer - Gordon Parks
Producer - Tom McIntosh
Engineer - Aaron Rochin
Conducted by Dick Hazard (great name!)
Orchestrations by Dick Hazard, Tom McIntosh, Jimmy Jones, Dale Oehler.
Trumpet - Freddie Hubbard
Guitar - Joe Pass
Alto Sax - Marshal Royal
Vocals - O.C. Smith
Except Type Thang: By The Isaac Hayes Movement, Produced by Isaac Hayes.

Funkback's comment
For Your listening pleasure I would warmly recommend the soundtrack
from the 3CD set that collects the MGM masters. Truly mind-blowing stuff.
It includes the vocal version of Isaac Hayes Type Thang that's featured
in the dancing sequence in the movie. I've found the instrumental
version in The Isaac Hayes instrumentals collection issued on Stax.

Link to movie review:Gordon Parks - Shaft's Big Score (1972)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

J.J. Johnson - Man & Boy (1971)

1. Theme From "Man And Boy" - "Better Days" (sung by Bill Withers)
2. Slo-Mo
3. Emancipation Procrastination
4. Pull, Jubal, Pull
5. Mand And Boy (Main Title From Picture)
6. Theme From "Man And Boy" - "Better Days"
7. Country Soul
8. Rosita
9. Trekkin'
10. Hard Times. Mister (Lee Christmas Theme)
11. Man And Boy (End Title)
This soundtrack is one of several early 70s albums containing music 'composed and arranged by J.J. Johnson' with 'musical supervision by Quincy Jones'. A strong album from a Western film starring Bill Cosby, this LP features a great theme from Bill Withers and some good breakbeat funk cuts. 'Pull, Jubal, pull' features some fine funk drumming and harmonica.

Grant Green - The Final Comedown (1972)

1. Past, Present And Future
2. The Final Comedown
3. Father's Lament
4. Fountain Scene
5. Soul Food - African Shop
6. Slight Fear And Terror
7. Afro Party
8. Luanna's Theme
9. Battle Scene
10. Traveling To Get To Doc
11. One Second After Death
The jazz label Blue Note issued this one and only soundtrack from Grant Green in 1972 to accompany an obscure blaxploitation movie. The soundtrack sees Green obviously out of place trying to solo over the top of genre blaxploitation funk. One of the lesser known blaxploitation LPs, not easy to find, but worth considering for "The Battle".

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sun Ra - Space Is The Place (1974)

1. Space Is The Place
2. Images
3. Discipline
4. Sea Of Sounds
5. Rocket Number Nine
Space Is The Place opens with its title track, a twenty-minute freeform freak-jazz-psychedelic-soul-funk meltdown, a thundering acid-bop meltdown full of squirming melodies, dramatically repurposed instruments, head-splittingly chaotic vocals, solos that seem to spin off in multiple directions at once, and layers of percussion that'll make you dance and have a seizure at the same time. It sounds primitive and futuristic and progressive and playful and high-minded and juvenile and logical and psychotic all at once, and it's a masterpiece. And that's just the first song on the album.

Flip the record over, and you've got four more gems. "Images" is the sound of post-bop teetering on the edge of free jazz. Led by Sun Ra's oceanic piano, the song swerves from a gorgeous theme into regions of near atonality before spiraling back into beauty again, with the kind of high-minded grace reserved for geniuses. "Discipline" is a rolling, apocalyptic drone, and "Sea Of Sounds" is sheer scorched earth freeform noise. "Rocket Number Nine" is willfully cheesy, utterly irresistible space-age jazz pop.

Classic freak jazz. Get it.