Uncut - p.1064 stars out of 5
- "[I]t drapes Womack's songs over JJ Johnson's score..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 11/99, p.132
"A better slice of Harlem hokum than the norm, with music to match. [J.J.Johnson] provides some well-shaped themes performed by a classy big band that comes kitted out with strings and a degree in electronics....Way to go."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1303 stars out of 5
- "[E]verything stays both cohesive and eminently funky."
Original score composed and conducted by J.J. Johnson. Original songs written and performed by Bobby Womack.
Includes liner notes by John Lappen.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of Beyond's Soul Cinema series.
Composers: Bobby Womack; J.J. Johnson .
1972's ACROSS 110TH STREET is a brilliant collaboration between soul great Bobby Womack and jazz legend J.J. Johnson. Based on Wally Ferris' novel about inner-city life, crooked cops and ripping off the mob, this film demanded exciting music. Both artists contribute some of their finest work, which is often interspersed with film dialogue. Although Johnson's string arrangements on parts I and II of the title track bring to mind Gamble & Huff's Philly soul, Womack's delivery makes it sound more like Curtis Mayfield's "Shaft." Elsewhere, Womack turns "Hang on in There" into an acid-rock workout dominated by a Duane Allman-like slide guitar absent from Johnson's funkier, horn-driven treatment.
Other strong Womack compositions include the JB hard rock of "Do It Right" and the fast-paced "Quicksand." Johnson's highlights include the syncopated strut "Harlem Clavinette" and "Harlem Love Theme," a melancholy ballad featuring pizzicato bass and a somber exchange between electric piano and English horn.