Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gil Scott-Heron making music again, new record to be released on XL

Sifting through promo mail today, one name stuck out at me in particular: Gil Scott-Heron. The celebrated poet and musician is scheduled to release his first record in sixteen years in February 2010 on XL Recordings, making him label-mates with MIA, Radiohead, and Devendra Banhart. This is good for several reasons, not the least of which is that the last time Scott-Heron was in the news, unfortunately it was for legal trouble.

The track here, entitled, "Where Did The Night Go," features the spoken-word that made him famous over a dirty, minimal backing track. As for Scott-Heron's past work, I recommend his 1980 record, actually titled "1980," that features prominent keyboard-work and brilliant arrangements by composer and collaborator, Brian Jackson. It's an album that often gets overlooked by critics that focus mainly on Gil Scott-Heron's earlier and jazzier work as well as his explosive lyricism; often cited as a major step in popular music's evolution towards hip-hop. Anyways, it's a great though more subtle record and can usually be found for pretty cheap on vinyl. Just to give you some perspective, I've included a track from that album here as well.

mp3 from the upcoming record:
Gil Scott-Heron: "Where Did The Night Go"

mp3 from 1980: "Corners"