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thebigfunk
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Tue Jul-06-21 10:46 AM

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"summer of soul"
Tue Jul-06-21 10:48 AM by thebigfunk

          

Had a chance to see this on the big screen last night (first movie since COVID!) and just wanted to encourage folks to do the same if you can! It's out on Hulu but I'm glad we made the trip to the theater. The quality of the footage is surprisingly good, both the visual quality and the sound quality -- not sure how much work they had to do to clean it up but it was a lot of fun to watch.

Edit: in case folks haven't heard about it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_of_Soul_(...Or,_When_the_Revolution_Could_Not_Be_Televised)

Some highlights:
- Stevie rocking out on the clavinet -- it was only '69 but he's already sounding like he's ready to drop Superstition...
- As much as I love Sly I actually haven't seen that much concert footage, so "Higher" and "Simple Song" here were just a lot of fun for me
- Probably the finest moment of the film is Mavis basically leading "Precious lord take my hand" w/Mahalia almost as backup even though it was supposed to be the other way around --- goosebumps!!!
- Two words: Mongo Santamaria! And Sheila E talking about finer points of playing different drums with your hands
- And of course, mf'in Nina not messing around w/Backlash Blues and another joint, plus what might have been the absolute debut of To Be Young, Gifted, And Black (hadn't been released yet, that's for sure -- anyone know if this was its premier?)

Only disappointments:
- I wanted more about the planning of the event itself; what did those conversations with artists look like?
- Some of the details on how the days were planned were pretty slim, like, start time/end time, length of an average set, etc. It seemed like a lot of these folks were coming out and doing just one song but I'm assuming that was editing, no one's flying to NYC to do a one and done, are they?
- Yo Quest, what about the house band man????!?!? There was clearly some sort of house band backing a lot of folks or sitting in with each act, *that's* a story because a) they were pretty on point! and b) I can only imagine there were some names we would recognize in there but maybe I'm wrong. That's a whole different time in terms of how a band like that would work, a different mentality, and would have loved to have heard more about prep and execution. (That's the nerd in me, maybe.)

I guess that's the nerd in me though. Honestly, great time, learned some fun tidbits of trivia, and thought the history and context was handled really well, how some of the footage/soundbites of the times was woven in really artfully with some of the festival footage. The arc of moving from a cleaner suit-and-tie classic Motown image to Sly/Nina et al was told really well without beating it to a pulp, letting the visuals and the lineup do the talking. Definitely snagging this on DVD if it drops.


Anyone else seen it? Is there going to be an album or boxset for this?


-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
pretty good pfork interview w/Quest
Jul 06th 2021
1
The Pips Choreography...man listen.
Jul 06th 2021
2
RE: The Pips Choreography...man listen.
Jul 07th 2021
5
RE: The Pips Choreography...man listen.
Jul 07th 2021
6
Loved it. So much great footage.
Jul 06th 2021
3
Saw this last night with my sister and I have to say it was really good
Jul 06th 2021
4
Very enjoyable doc
Jul 11th 2021
7
^
Jul 12th 2021
8

thebigfunk
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Tue Jul-06-21 11:52 AM

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1. "pretty good pfork interview w/Quest"
In response to Reply # 0


          

https://pitchfork.com/features/interview/questlove-summer-of-soul-black-music-history/

I like this bit about Jimi being the only artist rejected from the festival --- would have liked more of these types of stories about the planning of the festival but I see how they would have been harder to integrate into the film:

"The irony of it all is that Jimi Hendrix is the one artist who requested to do this festival and got rejected. Jimi had a strange relationship with the Black community at that time. Like, “He’s a little too wild for us, so he’s on that side of the fence.” He got to a point where he got tired of being the freak-show darling of the industry, so he disbanded his group, got an all-Black group—the Band of Gypsys—and asked , “Can we perform? We want to do a blues set.” And they said no. He’s not even deterred; he winds up booking all the after-shows, so for three weeks, Jimi Hendrix plays at these blues clubs with Freddie King, his blues mentor."

-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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LeroyBumpkin
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36354 posts
Tue Jul-06-21 01:12 PM

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2. "The Pips Choreography...man listen."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I watched that on Hulu and had to go back and rewatch their performance!
Like, their background vocals were in full step WITH the choreography! Amazing.

I think the best part of the film overall was how every act and character got their own small documentary within' the story.
Outside of the acts getting their own shine we learned about the promoter, the mayor, Harlem in addition to the state of Black America in 1969.
All of that context really helped shape the concert as a whole. Quest, the producers and the editors get a lot of props from me on that.
That's not easy to do.

MORE THOUGHTS:

- How did they select what songs they used?
- Speaking of music, DAMN, who paid THAT bill? Need an entire department to wrangle those permissions together.
- Wanted more Stevie. This was Stevie right before his genius period and it's a great moment to see (the easter egg was great..ha).
- I loved the quote, "Nobody was interested in a Black Woodstock".

>- As much as I love Sly I actually haven't seen that much
>concert footage, so "Higher" and "Simple Song" here were just
>a lot of fun for me

>- Some of the details on how the days were planned were pretty
>slim, like, start time/end time, length of an average set,
>etc. It seemed like a lot of these folks were coming out and
>doing just one song but I'm assuming that was editing, no
>one's flying to NYC to do a one and done, are they?

I have two Sly bootlegs from 1968 from The Filmore East and the music presentation in Summer Of Soul matches
the set he used to do. All the way down to the crowd interaction on "Higher".
This was my first time SEEING it though, and it was great to see. The shows I have are just under an hour,
so I imagine Sly & The Family Stone did maybe 20 minutes.

>- Two words: Mongo Santamaria! And Sheila E talking about
>finer points of playing different drums with your hands

I felt like this was the Quest influence. Getting that explanation was some music nerd stuff that was just perfect.

@dseals | @digife
https://digife.com

  

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thebigfunk
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Wed Jul-07-21 03:58 PM

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5. "RE: The Pips Choreography...man listen."
In response to Reply # 2


          

>I watched that on Hulu and had to go back and rewatch their
>performance!
>Like, their background vocals were in full step WITH the
>choreography! Amazing.
>

Absolutely, they killed it, nearly stole the show.

>I think the best part of the film overall was how every act
>and character got their own small documentary within' the
>story.
>Outside of the acts getting their own shine we learned about
>the promoter, the mayor, Harlem in addition to the state of
>Black America in 1969.
>All of that context really helped shape the concert as a
>whole. Quest, the producers and the editors get a lot of
>props from me on that.
>That's not easy to do.

Agreed. For anything I might have wanted more of, I felt like there was just a lot of balance in making sure everything that needed attention and context got it. Pacing was great, too.

>- Speaking of music, DAMN, who paid THAT bill? Need an entire
>department to wrangle those permissions together.

For sure. If there's an obstacle to an album release, this would probably be it, too.

>I have two Sly bootlegs from 1968 from The Filmore East and
>the music presentation in Summer Of Soul matches
>the set he used to do. All the way down to the crowd
>interaction on "Higher".
>This was my first time SEEING it though, and it was great to
>see. The shows I have are just under an hour,
>so I imagine Sly & The Family Stone did maybe 20 minutes.

This is good to know -- might dive down a Youtube rabbit hole in the next few days to see more footage of them and some of the other featured acts that I haven't seen live much.


>>- Two words: Mongo Santamaria! And Sheila E talking about
>>finer points of playing different drums with your hands
>
>I felt like this was the Quest influence. Getting that
>explanation was some music nerd stuff that was just perfect.

Yeah. She talks about some similar stuff at more length on her recent episode of QLS but honestly the concise version was almost better (and hearing it against the background of drumming).

-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
43405 posts
Wed Jul-07-21 05:59 PM

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6. "RE: The Pips Choreography...man listen."
In response to Reply # 2


  

          


>I have two Sly bootlegs from 1968 from The Filmore East and
>the music presentation in Summer Of Soul matches
>the set he used to do. All the way down to the crowd
>interaction on "Higher".
>This was my first time SEEING it though, and it was great to
>see. The shows I have are just under an hour,
>so I imagine Sly & The Family Stone did maybe 20 minutes.

The "Higher!" portion of the show was indeed a Sly standard all through that era. It capped off, and is the most famous part, of their Woodstock set too. If you think it's crazy seeing the group do it in front of a crowd of 50,000, imagine a couple of hundred thousand.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

Checkin' Our Style, Return To Zero:

https://www.mixcloud.com/returntozero/

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
43405 posts
Tue Jul-06-21 01:28 PM

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3. "Loved it. So much great footage."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

(posted this is the GD thread as well)

Of course, the musical performances were amazing. And many of the performers explaining the context of where they were in their careers at the time added to its power. As was all the context about what going in the world, from the fight for Civil Rights to the moon landing.

If I had to pick, I'd say my favorite performances were Sly and the Family Stone, Mahailia and Mavis Staples, and Fifth Dimension. But I thought everyone was in their peak form.

Stevie had jokes. And was great on stage as well. It's a trip to think he was only 19 at the time. And that he had already recorded and released "For Once in My Life" by then.


One side thing I noticed: what was with all the sombreros? I get that it was hot, but some of the hats looked pretty damn goofy.

-----------------

www.albumism.com

Checkin' Our Style, Return To Zero:

https://www.mixcloud.com/returntozero/

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7844 posts
Tue Jul-06-21 04:07 PM

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4. "Saw this last night with my sister and I have to say it was really good"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It was really good for a first-time filmmaker (especially one who claimed he never got into videos for his group.).

Having not grown up in a household that played a lot of soul/R&B from that time period it was a great history lesson on the state of Black music culture from that time. And the way the movie wove in the sentiments from African Americans towards life in America against the musical themes and fashion choices of the musicians was nicely done. It never felt forced and added context to the resonance and significance of the events that summer.

As someone said, the structure of the narrative split up into mini-docs combined into one was a nice choice. And the pacing was wonderful. Getting everyone significant airtime, without cheating anyone while maintaining momentum was impressive. The movie never felt slow or that it was getting lost in unnecessary details.

?uest is many things. Among them a sincere, genuine appreciator of music culture and history. This hit its intention to be a sincere, genuine tribute to a forgotten moment.

<--- Me when my head hits the pillow

  

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spirit
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Sun Jul-11-21 02:16 AM

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7. "Very enjoyable doc"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Hats off to Quest on the direction. Pacing was on point. Great use of interview footage. Good historical context throughout.

Random side note: John Lindsay, the NYC mayor who appears in the doc, also was very supportive of the opening of the Allah School in Harlem, which obviously had a great impact on the spread of the Nation of Gods and Earths. Salute to that guy. Back when there actually were moderate Republicans.

Peace,

Spirit (Alan)
http://wutangbook.com

  

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kinetic94761180
Member since Jul 05th 2002
17506 posts
Mon Jul-12-21 02:08 PM

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8. "^"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

_____________
if racism is a cancer, black thought is the answer.

Rjcc is code for "bitch-ass troll"

DROkayplayer™

  

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