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Soul Jazz Records Presents Can You Dig It? The Music And Politics Of Black Action Films 1969-75 Double CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Oct. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Soul Jazz Records
  • ASIN: B002GUJ13E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,301 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Coffy Is the Color - Roy Ayers
  2. Blacula - Gene Page
  3. Shaft in Africa - Johnny Pate
  4. Brother's Gonna Work It Out - Willie Hutch
  5. Charley - Don Costa
  6. 'T' Plays It Cool - Marvin Gaye
  7. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack
  8. Willie Chase - J.J. Johnson
  9. Down and Out in New York City - James Brown
  10. They Call Me Mister Tibbs (From 'They Call Me Mister Tibbs') - Quincy Jones
  11. Keep On Movin' On - Martha Reeves and J. J. Johnson
  12. Theme from Black Belt Jones - Dennis Coffey
  13. Freddie's Dead - Curtis Mayfield
  14. Wilford's Gone - The Blackbyrds
  15. Theme of Foxy Brown/Overture of Foxy Brown - Willie Hutch
  16. Run Fay Run - Isaac Hayes
  17. Shaft - Isaac Hayes

Disc: 2

  1. Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield
  2. Theme from Cleopatra Jones - Joe Simon
  3. You Can't Even Walk in the Park - Johnny Pate
  4. Sweetback's Theme - Earth, Wind & Fire
  5. Make It Good to Yourself - James Brown
  6. Pursuit of the Pimpmobile - Isaac Hayes
  7. Travelling to Get to Doc - Grant Green
  8. Time Is Tight - Booker T. and the M.G.'s
  9. Aragon - Roy Ayers
  10. Easin' In - Edwin Starr
  11. Strung Out - Gordon Staples and the String Thing
  12. Zombie March - Nat Dove and the Devils
  13. Make a Resolution - Impressions
  14. The Bus - Solomon Burke and Gene Page
  15. Las Vegas Strut - Jack Ashford
  16. Lay It On Your Head - Don Julian
  17. Ed and Digger - Galt MacDermot

Product Description

Product Description

"Can You Dig It?' is as definitive as it gets, and treats its subject seriously, lovingly and with an attention to detail that makes it a necessary purchase. An exemplary collection that is near perfect.' WIRE MAGAZINE

'Can You Dig It?' charts the rise of 'Black Action Films' from 1970-75. It comes as a double-CD collection of the stunning music from these films. The vinyl is on two monster loud separate double albums.

The Black Action Films of the early 1970s gave the Hollywood industry its first African-American cinema - actors, directors, cameramen, editors and writers. These films discussed aspects of the African-American experience in the form of entertainment. Storylines interwove post-civil rights revolution with action stories, many involving pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers or private detectives.

The films also featured the finest funk and soul black music of the time as stars such as James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Willie Hutch and Roy Ayers produced some of their finest work, with film budgets allowing for the addition of huge orchestral arrangements by jazz legends such as Quincy Jones, Johnny Pate and JJ Johnson.

In the early 1970s, Black Action Films exploded into the cinema with three extremely successful films - 'Shaft', 'Super Fly' and 'Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song'. The most profound statement of these films was their actual existence - black actors and black directors entering the previously closed Hollywood film industry.

Black Action Films were a representation of politically everything that had gone before and stylistically of everything that was current. Civil rights, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Black Power, Black Panthers, Vietnam sit alongside the criminal worlds of policemen, private investigators, bail bondsmen and the criminals, drug dealers, pimps and hustlers that they parole.

'Can U Dig It?' brings you everything you always wanted to know about black action films.

This is an essential Soul Jazz Records release!

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The brilliant 96 page pocket book that accompanies this double CD fills you in with the political backdrop of late sixties America... the stereotyping of black actors into pimps, prostitutes and hustlers, stories of those who bucked the trend.
Having only seen two of the featured films (Shaft and Superfly,) I was expressly interested in the musical content of Soul Jazz Record's latest release. So what do you get? This is music of unstinting quality - thudding basslines pulsating around bursts of flighty strings.
Buoyed and beefed-up by the extra cash from film studio budgets several of black music's legends can be found on here, Roy Ayers - with two typically groovy tracks from Coffy, Issac Hayes with classics from the Shaft films, Will Hutch, Marvin Gaye and James Brown just to name a few. Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman," a personal favourite of mine appears on the second CD.
As ever with Soul Jazz compilations there is something you haven't come across before. I was new to the muted trumpet of The Blackbyrds "Wilfred's Gone" and the flute loop of Don Julian's "Lay it on your head."
The first CD concentrates a bit more on the stonewall classics whereas the second offers something for someone with a slightly broader musical pallet. And this is where Can you Dig It? really succeeds - classics and new delights together in one spellbinding package. Make this one of your essential purchases this Autumn.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So...You've heard 'Shaft', maybe one or two tracks that came free with a magazine's cd and your curiosity for Blaxploitation film funk was piqued. You know somewhere, out there, exists the horn-driven, wah-wah ridden, string laden tunes you crave, but you're not really sure where to start. Maybe you've done a bit of research only to realise that many of the genre's soundtrack albums are expensive, out of print, never transferred to cd or only worth the purchase for one or two standout tracks. Well look no further: this expertly compiled two cd set is jam packed with belter after belter of cinematic funk and soul tunes.
Whoever put this record together knew exactly what they were doing, exemplified by the inclusion of the full 9 mins of Isaac Hayes' 'In Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile'. There's obvious choices from the genre sitting shoulder to shoulder with hard to find and rarely heard classics. Like all compilations of this nature it might be argued that there are a few glaring ommisions (James Brown - 'The Boss'?), but as many better known tracks are readily available elsewhere it was a sacrifice worth making.
I couldn't recommend this album enough and my only gripe is that Soul Jazz records haven't got their arses into gear and released 'Can You Dig It?' vol. 2.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been into Black Action(Blaxploitation)film scores since my teens in the mid 80's and would happily dig through crates at record fairs for one-off tracks on Vinyl for hours and part with serious cash for one-track albums, this gem of a compilation would have been no exception had it been around then. I would happily buy this two CD set for the Dennis Coffey track 'Black Belt Jones' and JJ Johnson's 'Wiile Chase' from Willie Dynamite, let alone the slick tracks 'Easin In' and 'Lay it on Your Head'.... this album oozes authenticity, double-funky
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This area of music is not one I have much experience of - some of the names are familiar - James Brown, Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes - but it sounded interesting. But my lack of experience is clearly light-years away from the deep deep knowledge of whoever selected such a joyful, exciting and listenable set of tracks as this.

The spread is across about ten years and the earliest track - Time is tight by Booker T and the MGs - has a soul vibe that peters out to wards the end of the 70's. Nonetheless the quality is high throughout - listen to Dennis Coffey or Grant Green to hear some exciting and well done music. There is huge variety on this disc - Sweetback's Theme by Brer Soul & Earth, Wind and Fire is a cool piece of Jazz that works well with the frantic energy of Travelling to get to Doc by Grant Green.

There are two problems with this disc: the music can occasionally be a little longer than the ideas; I would guess that this is the constraints of writing film music to a length but affects only a couple of tracks. the other is with the listener: I listened to some of this on an iPod walking around London and kept imagining myself in a long tracking shot with film titles overlaid.

This is a fabulous disc and would make terrific driving music.
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Format: Audio CD
Fans of Funky and Soulful Soundtracks have always had to pay out huge sums of money for certain LPs – many of which are now over 40 years old. Well at last – Soul Jazz Records of London have done them all a fur coat by collating together the very best of the Blaxploitation period. And what a garish piece of audio jewelry it is.

2CDs are housed in a card wrap with a truly sensational 100-page booklet slotted in beside the double jewel case (there are also two VINYL DOUBLE ALBUMS (Disc 1 and 2) which are now sought after in themselves). Released October 2009 in the UK – “Can You Dig It? The Music And Politics Of Black Action Films 1968-1975” on Soul Jazz Records SJR CD214 (Barcode 5026328202143) breaks down as follows…

Disc 1 (56:40 minutes):
1. Coffy Is The Color by ROY AYERS (Coffy, 1973)
2. Blacula by GENE PAGE (Blacula, 1972)
3. Shaft In Africa by JOHNNY PATE (Shaft In Africa, 1973)
4. Brother’s Gonna Work It Out by WILLIE HUTCH (The Mack, 1973)
5. Charley by DON COSTA (The Soul Of Nigger Charley, 1973)
6. “T” Plays It Cool by MARVIN GAYE (Trouble Man, 1973)
7. Across 110th Street by BOBBY WOMACK (Across 110th Street, 1972)
8. Willie Chase by J.J. JOHNSON (Willie Dynamite, 1973)
9. Down And Out In New York City by JAMES BROWN (Black Caesar, 1973)
10. They Call Me MISTER Tibbs by QUINCY JONES (They Call Me Mister Tibbs, 1970)
11. Keep On Movin’ On by MARTHA REEVES (Willie Dynamite, 1973)
12. Theme From Black Belt Jones by DENNIS COFFEY (Black Belt Jones, 1974)
13. Freddie’s Dead by CURTIS MAYFIELD (Superfly, 1972)
14. Wilford’s Gone by THE BLACKBYRDS (Cornbread, Earl And Me, 1975)
15. Theme Of Foxy Brown by WILLIE HUTCH (Foxy Brown, 1974)
16.
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