Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron - Rest in Peace, Your Music Still Carries Your Message

The author of the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" – which helped pioneer sounds that would fuse to become rap – has died in New York City. Musician Gil Scott-Heron was 62.

Scott-Heron recorded "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" in the 1970s in Harlem.

He mixed minimalistic percussion and spoken-word performances tinged with politics in a style he sometimes referred to as bluesology. He recorded more than a dozen albums. An American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word soul performer and his collaborative work with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time.

As an impressionable young man in the mid-70's, I was impressed by the frank nature of his writing and song composition, edgy at the time with no fluff to be found. I hated fluff in the 70's.

Here are a couple of my favorites from Gil:

"Johannesburg" - a call to action against Apartheid.

"The Bottle" - this song hits a little too close to home for some people of all colors including white.

Thanks Gil for your work and your music. You will be missed.

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