I umsmm BOBBY WOMACK
The Jackie Brown CD revels in the sounds of 19705 blaxploitation movies, but can it shake its funky ass in today's world of big
bucks soundtracks? Words: Damien Love
The soundtrack to Quentin 'l‘arnatino’s latest flick .luekie Bl'tnt‘ll — itself a partial homage to the blaxploitation cycle ~ begins with the theme song to a genuine blaxploitation movie. It ends with a piece originally recorded for a compilation album. itself inspired by -— and aimed at cashing in on —- the soundtrack to 'l‘arantino‘s last film. I’m still trying to work out whether or not this is a good thing. Mobius Strip dynamics aside. the .luekie
Brown albutn continues the tradition of
'l‘arantino soundtracks — it is a fairly intriguing. well put together compilation in
its own right. unlike that other tradition of
compilation soundtrack as little more than a wheelnut on the marketing juggernaut. It also has those little clips of dialogue that will now pop up on answermachine messages across the world.
With the 'l‘arantino tunes there is at least some sense of involvement. a guiding reason behind the songs chosen. Following the mighty tension of Bill Withers‘s mean and restless ‘Who ls He (And What Is He To You‘.’)’ with a solo Johnny Cash 1994 reading of 'Tennessee Stud' is an act of creation itself. Cash‘s performance is a raw. wet slice of America hauled tip shaking from some black. timeless place. but is still weird. funny and life-affirming. Putting it back to back with the Withers track is the sort of thing only a friend would do for you. The inclusion of The Grass Roots 'Midnight (‘onfessions'. thongh. is little short of an act of war.
In a telling demonstration of hip. that opening track is the title song to 1972's Aeross ll()t/z Street by the artist formerly known as Bobby Womack. Never previously the best known of the blaxploitation lullabies. the Aeross [/0111 Street soundtrack has itself. curiously enough. recently been reissued. a big swelling hustle through Harlem replete with those staccato Shaft string stabs.
lsaac Hayes's l97l soundtrack for Shaft. of course. is the wellspring of all that came
10 THE UST 20 Mar— 2 Apt 1998
Jackie Brown is a well put together compilation, unlike that other tradition of compilation soundtrack as little more than a wheelnut on the marketing juggernaut.
after. forming a triumvirate with (‘urtis Mayfield‘s Super/’1)- and Marvin (iaye playing the Holy Spirit with his masterly Trouble Mun. 'l‘ h e soundtrack to the ﬁlm which set it all off. Melvin Van l’ecbles‘s Street Street/melt 's
Bu(u/usssss Song. is a shout in the wilderness. a strange. insane. gospel- roughhouse funkyopera. Also worth checking
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out are the trax to ('leo/mlru Jones. Foxy Brown and the James Brown—touched Slaughter films.
Back on .luekie Brown. we also have the important pleasure of rediscovering Pam (irier‘s drum ‘n‘ flute ‘n‘ groove sashay through long 'l‘ime Woman'. taken from The Big Doll House (197/). more a women- in-prisonploitation picture. The disc is a worthy conclusion to the 'l‘arantino 'l'unes 'l’rilogy. but the really radical thing for him to do next is work with a composer — it didn‘t hurt 'litxi Driver too much.
The Jackie Brown soundtrack is out now on Maverick/A Band Apart. The Big Score, a compilation of blaxploitation themes, is
released by EMI on Mon 30 Mar. I Thanks to Fopp