Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson|
Winter in America (Reis)
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
This digi-pack edition of his 1973 album, which was recorded in collaboration with Brian Jackson. Features the fusion classic, 'The Bottle', a track often sampled by hip hop artists including The Jungle Brothers, and The s... more »
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This digi-pack edition of his 1973 album, which was recorded in collaboration with Brian Jackson. Features the fusion classic, 'The Bottle', a track often sampled by hip hop artists including The Jungle Brothers, and The satirical 'H2Ogate blues. New Sleeve notes by Pierre-Jean Crittin, editor of the respected French Magazine 'Vibrations'. Snapper. 2005.
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"Recognition don't come cheap anymore..."
Laszlo Matyas | 11/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a bleak, cynical, scared cry for help, a document of one of the strangest and most deeply unsettling periods in American history. Released in 1974, after Vietnam, Watergate, economic decay, and agonizing racial tensions had effectively strangled the optimism of the 60s, Winter In America is a bleakly poetic masterpiece. Heron's lyrics reveal the fears, nightmares, and tentative hopes of a wounded decade with bottomless poignancy, while Brian Jackson's minimalist soul-jazz backing is as ethereal as it is tense. The result is brilliantly conceived, flawlessly executed, endlessly evocative album.
One of Winter In America's most impressive aspects is that despite its timely themes, it has aged incredibly well. Heron's musings are, for the most part, universal. And even when they refer to specific incidents, the man's emotion still resonates. Meanwhile, Jackson's soulful explorations sound just lain wonderful, no matter what decade you were born in.
In other words, this album is stuffed with great songs. "Peace Go With You Brother" (which is briefly reprised at the end) is a mournful cry for black unity, while "Song For Bobby Smith" and "Your Daddy Loves You" are timeless odes to innocence and the healing power of love (and they're not even remotely sappy!). "A Very Precious Time" is a gorgeous, almost otherworldly tale of nostalgia, while "Rivers Of My Fathers" is a dreamy soul-jazz epic. "Back Home" is slightly more upbeat, and reinforced by a swirling rush of melody. "The Bottle" is a stirring anti-alcoholism anthem, set to a bare-bones jazz funk melody. "H20 Gate Blues" is perhaps the album's angriest and most spine-tingling moment: over a raw, minimal backing, Heron bemoans the fate of post-Nixon America, hurling poisoned darts at corrupt politicians, greedy business men, and apathetic citizens with equal parts black hearted humor, poetic virtuosity, and sheer outrage.
This, my friends, is one of the great unheralded albums of the 70s. You really oughtta get it."
Rediscovering a MASTER lyricist/musician
K. Hemphill | 09/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My bad, but I'd almost forgotten about this brother until I was over a friend's house a few months ago and Winter in America was playing. HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN? Gil Scott-Heron speaks such truths (no matter how uncomfortable some of his messages may be for some). And quite frankly, I find even H20gate Blues very relevant today. But his lyrics aren't limited to politics or social issues but includes wonderfully nostalgic songs such as A Very Precious Time and Your Daddy Loves You. SUCH an underappreciated lyricist AND musician. He and Brian Jackson really knew how to put together a SONG!! Imagine getting down to a song about alcoholism (The Bottle)! And, I love that his social commentary doesn't take any prisoners. In his career, he has been as scathing of hypocritical so-called revolutionaries that show disdain for the very folks that they are supposed to be supporting and rap artists that cater to the lowest denominator rather than using urban experience to enlighten and empower and bring joy (as Heron always did)as he is of the "white/elite" power structure. This isn't a man trying to incite hate but understanding and truth.
While some of the music sounds "70's" it still has contemporary appeal. I was recently visiting my stepson (in his 30's) and to my surprise he was playing Gil Scott-Heron 24/7. His (and my) favorite records are Winter in America, From South Carolina to South Africa, and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (since becoming reacquainted with his music I've bought those and more.)
Sadly, Gil Scott-Heron has fallen victim to some of the social ills he sang about. He's spent the last 6-7 years mostly in jail on drug charges (It was always rumored that his songs on substance abuse were based upon personal experience). I hope that he can overcome his demons and continue to be such a powerful voice and talented musician. There is no doubt in my mind that Gil Scott-Heron should be considered one of the pivotal musicians of the 70's - whose influence is obvious in today's music. Buy Winter in America (every song is stellar)and other Gil Scott-Heron recordings, even if you aren't into the message, you'll be into the music."