Melvin Van Peebles

Renaissance man Melvin Van Peebles revolutionized African-American cinema with the release in 1971 of his decidedly off-the-wall Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. The soundtrack album is equally radical, featuring Van Peebles's often-dissonant jazz-flavored funk tunes sung by himself with a very young Earth, Wind & Fire, along with dialogue from the film and bits of homegrown gospel music. Gospel is at the stylistic core of much of 1972's somewhat more traditional Don't Play… MORE