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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: 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 ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gil Scott-Heron / Makaya McCraven: We're New Again

Read "We're New Again" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

"All the dreams you show up in are not your own." With those words to an interviewer at The New Yorker, Gil Scott-Heron tried to explain a degree of detachment from I'm New Here (XL Recordings, 2011), his “comeback" and the final studio album before his death that year. The project was initiated by the head ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Byron Wallen: Portrait

Read "Portrait" reviewed by Chris May

An all too rare event, an album from Byron Wallen. The British trumpeter is part of that cohort of musicians who immediately preceded, and continue to inspire, the young London rebels who have been renewing British jazz since around 2015. So, too, is this album's drummer, Rod Youngs. Youngs was born and raised in the US, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave O'Higgins & Rob Luft: Plays Monk & Trane

Read "Plays Monk & Trane" reviewed by Chris May

Hearing the young British guitarist Rob Luft for the first time on his debut album, Riser (Edition, 2017), was rather like hearing American guitarist Johnny Smith for the first time on Moonlight In Vermont (Roost, 1956). You knew you were listening to something special. And while much separates the players' styles, much unites them, too: Smith's ...


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