James Dean and the Hayes

Isaac Hayes created one of the most amazing film soundtracks & reenergized soundtracks as more than background music when he released Shaft. Maybe not the first blaxploitation but still one of the best. It was such a success he then jumped into films as ab actor (& soundtrack writers) in Tough Guys & Truck Turner.

This is music that struts, that wraps you up in smoky sexuality, that adds stress to already tense scenes. Highly influential & I’ve heard echoes of his style in the soundtrack of films out of Japan, India & even porn. The Shaft lp is a great double release that sold millions, & still sells today. I picked it up 2nd hand decade ago then replaced it with mp3 version. While found it I also came across his sound tracks for Tough Guys & Truck Turner.

There were a couple of Shaft sequels: Shaft’s Big Score (Gordon Parks); Shaft in Africa (Johnny Pate) – that quote the original but that’s it. The rest of the music is funky enough but not Hayes 🙂 Rounding out this cd is Jack McDuff’s Sophisticated Funk – organ driven jazz than would fit in perfectly not he sound tracks of these movies.

Near by on the shelf is stand-alone – Ray Heindorf: Tribute to James Dean. Soundtrack music from East of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause, & Giant. The first two composed by Leonard Rosenman; the last by Dimitri Tiomkin. This is a a fine set of period soundtrack writing by two of best composers of the era. Heindorf was a noted film orchestra conductor. Not as funky as Hayes 🙂 but with nice elements of jazz here & there.

Different

There was something different about the room. A chair had been moved an inch from the corner. Yes, that was it. Or was it a different chair. 

I wasn’t sure but something had changed. The room was now warm & inviting. I wanted to linger there but knew I couldn’t. 

This was merely a chance to drop by and say hello. Hello in there, as the song says. How are things in there. How long has it been. Not that long. Long enough to know you’ve changed things around here. 

No you haven’t! It’s still the same it always has been. Well, sweeping does happen. You know how it is. Keep the place neat & tidy. Neat as pin & the mind still just as sharp as tack. 

But something looks different around here. More space? I can’t get over it. It’s like I have never been here before, you know. it all seems so fresh untouched. So perfect, with you bobbing around it like happy little neat freak. 

There is something different about you but I’m afraid to put my finger on it.


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