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From Gil Scott-Heron to Innervisions

From Gil Scott-Heron to Innervisions

Every word was savoured. I started the book, read the first hundred pages, and had to start again – just so that I could drink in the words again. In my mind, The Narrator’s distinctive growl enunciated each word with absolute clarity and authority. I’ve taken months to complete the book, despite it being barely […]

GSH and MLK

GSH and MLK

Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a freethinker of the highest order. He was someone for whom freedom became a life’s work. He changed the world. In 1963 he had a dream. Thank you Gil Scott-Heron. Thank you Stevie Wonder. Thank you for making sure that we will always remember. Thank you […]

Gil Scott-Heron: Peace Go With You, Brother

Gil Scott-Heron: Peace Go With You, Brother

May 27, 2011. The day that a true freethinker left the building. We’re all poorer for it. My words just won’t hit the mark, here. When someone of the importance and stature of Gil Scott-Heron passes, you want to look to people with the intelligence, heart and insight of the man himself to capture the […]

13 minutes of genius, from Gil Scott-Heron

13 minutes of genius, from Gil Scott-Heron

My mum brought the album home from work. A friend of hers knew that me and my brothers were into our music, so he thought he would work on expanding our knowledge. I want to shake him by the hand. For, the album which I put my hands on, I am guessing as a 14 […]

2010: Top Ten Albums

2010: Top Ten Albums

So that’s 2010, then. A year of staggering comebacks, of fine funk, and of exciting new music. Sitting here on a flight back to NYC after a Christmas break in the UK, it’s probably as good a time as any to fully reflect on the year, and to take the time to acknowledge the albums […]

I'm conflicted here

I’m conflicted here

I’m conflicted. Much has been written over the past few days about the ‘collaboration’ (read: ‘remix project’) between Jamie out of The xx and Gil Scott-Heron. On paper this sounds magnificent. Gil Scott-Heron’s first album in 16 years – the frankly staggering ‘I’m New Here’ – being re-worked by someone with their finger right on […]

Smog

Smog

The right music, at the right time, used in the right way, in the right film can be something special. Tarantino has practically made a career out of it. This isn’t just about choosing some good songs, it’s about the music being intrinsic to the viewing experience. Take, for example, the use of the piano […]

The raw emotion of Gil Scott-Heron

The raw emotion of Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron. I feel almost ashamed that it’s taken me until now to write about him. His is a singular talent. He is almost the dictionary definition of a freethinker. Let me start with his latest album. A liner note asks that you listen to the album ‘for the first time under optimum conditions’. I […]

Broadening horizons

Broadening horizons

1993. I scarcely believe that it was that long ago that I was dropped off by my parents at university. A naïve, fresher-faced, significantly slimmer (a ‘lanky streak of piss’ is one way of putting it) version of me. And I had bad jeans. I envy this streak of piss on a regular basis. Yes, […]