Using a hands-across-the-water cultural exchange scheme as the feel-good premise for a concert documentary film set in Africa, resourceful Hollywood entertainment attorney Ed Mosk arranged to fly a planeload of top U.S. artists - including Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Santana, Ike & Tina Turner, Les McCann and Roberta Flack - to Ghana for a 14-hour show in front of 100,000 frantically screaming and dancing people back in 1971. The resulting feature film, Soul To Soul, which screened briefly and has been out of circulation for years, and the accompanying soundtrack LP - long since assigned to cut-out bins - was the only reminder of all that went down.
It took the Grammy-winning archivists David Peck and Jon Kanis years of diligent digging, diplomacy and piece-by-piece restoration, but the just-released Soul To Soul DVD with a 5.1 audio mix looks and sounds brilliant. The performance footage is spectacular, particularly the Ike & Tina Revue shaking and shimmying at full bore and the surprisingly raucous Voices of East Harlem, led by hard-shouting 12-year-old Kevin Griffin, who nearly steals the show.
While it's unfortunate that Roberta Flack requested that her appearances be removed from the DVD reissue, it's still a wonderful time capsule, enhanced by bonus Ike Turner commentary and a crisply remastered version of the soundtrack album with four extra joints. Get it.