A Taste for Soundtrack, GANJA & HESS style
October 26, 2019
Howlin’ Wolf Records Announces GANJA & HESS soundtrack CD
Howlin’ Wolf Records is very proud to present GANJA & HESS by award-winning composer and musician extraordinaire Sam Waymon. Well-known for his collaborations with legendary screenwriter, actor, and director Bill Gunn, Waymon formed a creative partnership and brotherhood with the director in the 60’s that lasted until Bill Gunn’s death in 1989. Sam Waymon is also internationally recognized for performances with his sister, Eunice Waymon—better known as the “High Priestess of Soul” Nina Simone.
GANJA & HESS was commissioned in 1973 by Quentin Kelly and Jack Jordan to piggyback off the success of blaxploitation films such as SHAFT (1971) and the 1972 cult classic BLACULA. Gunn had no interest in writing and directing a blaxploitation horror film based on vampires, so in a clever sleight of hand the director fashioned the vampire theme contextually as a metaphor for addiction. The film stars genre icon Duane Jones from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, along with Marlene Clark, Leonard Jackson, John Hoffmeister, and Mabel King, who also sings with Waymon on the soundtrack.
The soundtrack for GANJA & HESS was recorded in a studio with a bent towards creating a sound that was “live” in every sense of the word. The composer wanted a raw, live sound to accompany the dialogue. To represent the ancient African civilization of Myrthians, who were possessed by a blood lust, the amazing tribal music of “Bongili” was chosen.
A 20-track vinyl edition of the soundtrack was issued in 2018 by Strange Disc Records; Howlin’ Wolf’s premiere CD release of the score is expanded to 28 tracks.
The deluxe 20-page insert booklet for GANJA & HESS features in depth liner notes written by Wall Crumpler with insightful and compelling commentary by composer Sam Waymon. More Information: see howlin’ wolf records.