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MUSICIAN Born:

Gil Scott-Heron

“I consider myself neither poet, composer, nor musician. These are merely tools used by sensitive men to carve out a piece of beauty or truth they hope may lead to peace and salvation.” He has been opening eyes, minds and souls for over thirty years. A highly influential and widely admired singer, proto-rapper, jazz pianist, poet, novelist and socio- political commentator, Gil Scott-Heron remains a unique figure in global music. With over fifteen albums to his name, his politically charged output has won him an international following. His work illuminates a philosophy of life that holds human affection as well as political and artistic responsibility as the underlying factors that inspire his writing. Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago in 1949

We're New Again

Label: XL Recordings
Released: 2020
Track listing: Special Tribute (Broken Home, Pt. 1); I'm New Here; Running; Blessed Parents; New York is Killing Me; The Patch (Broken Home, Pt. 2); People of the Light; Being Blessed; Where Did the Night Go; Lily Scott (Broken Home, Pt.3); I'll Take Care of You; I've Been Me; This Can't Be Real; Piano Player; The Crutch; Guided (Broken Home, Pt.4); Certain Bad Things; Me and the Devil.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Georgia Anne Muldrow, Hal Willner, Butcher Brown & More New Releases

Read "Georgia Anne Muldrow, Hal Willner, Butcher Brown & More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Genre-bending, re-imaginings of masters past and present, and eclectic alliances of musicians from different scenes and backgrounds are at the heart of this week's roll-call of new and upcoming releases, with the latest albums by Jyoti (a.k.a. Georgia Anne Muldrow), and Hal Willner, deserving special attention. Happy listening! PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic

Read "Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic" reviewed by Chris May

Like his near contemporaries Shabaka Hutchings, Kamasi Washington, Nubya Garcia and Robert Glasper, the Chicago-based drummer, bandleader, producer and self-declared beat scientist Makaya McCraven is routinely described by the more breathless commentators writing about modern music as a “saviour" of jazz. Certainly, McCraven and his peers are enriching jazz by their embrace of other ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho

Read "Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho" reviewed by Chris May

Charles Tolliver has played with practically every major African American jazz stylist of his generation, and composed for some of them, too. In addition, he is the co-founder of Strata-East, the most influential label at the intersection of hard bop and spiritual jazz during the 1970s. Tolliver's long and distinguished career continues to flourish, with a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Oneness Of Juju: African Rhythms 1970-1982

Read "African Rhythms 1970-1982" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

Growing up in segregated Richmond, Virginia, the first creative love of James Branch's life was chemistry. Which seems fitting enough given all the musical compounds he would later contrive. As a performer, Branch started out with woodwind before latching onto sax at Columbia University, New York. Also immersed in left wing politics, he moved to California ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Carlos Niño / Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves

Read "Chicago Waves" reviewed by Chris May

Chicago-based jazz drummer and electronic-beat-maker Makaya McCraven's International Anthem label has been releasing beguiling cross-genre music by a diverse roster of artists since the mid 2010s. In the process, McCraven's own double album Universal Beings (2018) gave an early US platform to musicians from the new London jazz scene including reed player Shabaka Hutchings, tenor saxophonist ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 1

Read "Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Music often distills the truth in ways that make it hard to ignore. The history of jazz is intertwined with the struggle for the advancement of the African-American society that birthed it. Many of its masterpieces were inspired by events that marked the civil rights movement, which, in turn, drew inspiration from them. Let's look back ...

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...


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