I heard the music before I ever saw the movie. Which makes a whole lot of sense, since the movie was released in the year I turned five. And there was no way in the world I was getting in the movie theater to see Shaft at that age.
But, I grew up. And eventually, I did see the movie. Now I have seen it dozens of times. I like the movie. But I love the soundtrack that went with it.
Shaft was the first, or one of the first, “blaxsploitation” movies made in the early 1970s; movies that featured black protagonists and were made primarily for black audiences. The soundtrack to the movie was made by Isaac Hayes, the song “Theme From Shaft” won him an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1972. For today’s Morning Groove, I’ll be taking one of the instrumentals from that album, “Café Regio’s.”
This has always been one of my favorites on the album, though there isn’t a whole lot to it. Great guitar leads carry the song, done by either Charles Pitts or Michael Toles, or both (unsure which guitarist took the lead). The rhythm has a nice easy breezy feel that picks up in intensity as the song goes along.
A few other facts about the Shaft soundtrack album: it was the first two-record set ever released by an R&B artist, and it remains the biggest-selling album in Stax Records history. It also won three Grammy awards, for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical, Best Instrumental Arrangement, and Best Instrumental Composition Written Specifically For A Motion Picture or Television. In addition, members of the re-formed Bar-Kays also played on the album.
Please enjoy today’s Morning Groove; and as always thanks for reading and listening.