Well you all probably are aware that I am a bit of a sucker for films from the 1970’sand also the sounds of funk and jazz tat were employed in movies such as COFFY, SHAFT, CLEOPATRA JONES, SUPERFLY, TROUBLEMAN, THEY CALL ME MR TIBBS etc. I just love that soul filled funky vibe that those movies were supported by. Their soundtracks were a fusion of the dramatic and the upbeat with a scattering of songs that came along for the ride. Many of the scores employed great horn sections and sizzling string performances that were backed and given a groove by an array of driving and hot sounding percussive elements and fuzzy guitar passages alongside the Shaft sound as penned by Isaac Hayes. DOLEMITE IS MY NAME is a new Netflix production that stars the ever industrious and popular Eddie Murphy, who has delivered one of his most convincing and polished performances to date.
The movie focuses upon the real-life character Rudy Ray Moore and as portrayed in this movie by Murphy was a charmer of a man who dabbled in many things including music and comedy, Moore proved many of his critics wrong when his alter-ego Dolemite who was a funny and at times profanely obscene kung fu fighting individual, became a success within the Blaxploitation genre.
But it is the music for the movie that I am more interested in, Scott Bomar has created a wonderfully retro set of themes and musical passages to accompany the movie, and if I was listening without knowing what this music was from I would most certainly be of the opinion that it was written in the 1970’s, it is a true re-creation of the sound of the Blaxploitation movies that were around during that decade, and a homage to composers such as Quincy Jones, Issac Hayes, Gene Paige, Gordon Parks, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Roy Ayres, Marvin Gaye and Johnny Pate, who scored so many movies that we now consider essential viewing and classics of the silver screen. There is a style and sound that Bomar has managed to nail which takes one right back to those days, and even for me personally evokes soundtracks such as STILLETO, ENTER THE DRAGON, DIRTY HARRY and of course the original DOLEMITE movie from 1975.
This is a jazzy and cool sounding score that also includes a handful of vocals, but even though it is a super funky explosion of colours and textures it is also a full-on dramatic work and has to it an instant appeal, because as soon as you hear the opening score cue you just want to hear more. The composer employs sultry and breathy woods, soulful horns, wild Hammond organ, deep basslines and driving percussion, to great effect and punctuates these elements with sliding strings that at times sting and then become romantic and easy going, add to this a bluesy sounding piano and even more soulful vocals and what you have here is a wonderful salute to the Blaxploitation score, and one I recommend that you listen to. If you like your music upbeat and super cool then this is most certainly for you. Available from Milan records.