1 People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul
3 Coffy Is the Color
5 We Be's Gettin' Down
6 Truck Turner (Main Title)
7 Big Papa
8 Happy Head
9 Be thankful for what you got
10 Express l
13 Sweetback's Theme
Sure, there are other great soul and funk collections, including the hot UK release Harlem Sessions and the big Rhino release Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience. But none comes with such an exacting unifying premise. A riveting paean to the blaxploitation film era, BaadAsssss Cinema opens with a swift kick in James Brown's "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul." And then the set finds a million ways to groove and sidle in its 57-minute expanse. Here's Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman" from Superfly alongside Isaac Hayes's theme from 1974's Truck Turner and War's "Happy Head" from Ghetto Man. Horns, slow-mo funk, and fat rhythms swirl amid orchestral arrangements; it's a sound that locks hand-in-glove with the films of the period.
Hidden in plain view are some terrific links with the soul-jazz movement, including organist Lonnie Liston Smith's mind-expanding "Expansions," vibist Roy Ayers's "Coffy Is the Color," and trumpeter Donald Byrd's Blackbyrds churning out "Cornbread." Assembled to accompany the BaadAsssss Cinema Festival, this set gives Marvin Van Peebles, the movement's Godfather, his due with the ultimate throwdown: Earth, Wind & Fire's "Sweetback's Theme," from the first Blaxploitation salvo, the $14 million-grossing 1971 urban epic
, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. This is supreme stuff.