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JazzTimes 10: Great Blue Note Tracks from the 1970s

Paying long-overdue tribute to the label’s most underappreciated era

3. Grant Green: “The Final Comedown” (from The Final Comedown, 1972)
Prompted by the success of blaxploitation films and their respective soundtracks such as Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Shaft, Blue Note released its first movie soundtrack for The Final Comedown, a disorienting flick, starring Billy Dee Williams, about a group of black militants overtaking a white American suburb. The iconic guitarist Grant Green delivered the Wade Marcus-composed music, including the chug-a-lugging title track, which could have fit on any of his previous albums of the late ’60s or early ’70s. The album’s relative obscurity and eye-catching cover alone make it a cult favorite, but the excellence of the score—which shifts from the orchestral to the gritty—places it in the league of other ’70s movie soundtracks produced by Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, and J.J. Johnson.

Check the price of The Final Comedown on Amazon!

John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.