A reissue of Gil Scott-Heron’s 1972 album taken from the original master tapes.
The album features many of Gil’s most important early songs including ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’, ‘Lady Day & John Coltrane’ and ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. Backed by some of New York’s finest session musicians including Bernard Purdie, Hubert Laws and Ron Carter, it is one of the great albums of black American music.
The lead song ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ resonates down through the decades and has recently been featured on the soundtrack to the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. 2014 will see it become part of the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album Pieces of a Man set a standard for vocal
artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match. His unique
proto-rap vocal style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists, and nowhere is
his style more powerful than on the classic “The Revolution Will Not Be
Televised.” Even though the media – the very entity attacked in this
song – has used, reused, and recontextualized the song and its title so many
times, the message is so strong that it has become almost impossible to co-opt.
Musically, the track created a formula that modern hip-hop would follow for
years to come: bare-bones arrangements featuring pounding basslines and
stripped-down drumbeats. Although the song features plenty of outdated
references to everything from Spiro Agnew and Jim Webb to The Beverly
Hillbillies, the force of Scott-Heron's well-directed anger makes the song
timeless. More than just a spoken word poet, Scott-Heron was also a uniquely
gifted vocalist. On tracks like the reflective “I Think I'll Call It
Morning” and the title track, Scott-Heron's voice is complemented perfectly
by the soulful keyboards of Brian Jackson. On “Lady Day and John Coltrane,”
he not only celebrates jazz legends of the past in his words but in his vocal
performance, one that is filled with enough soul and innovation to make Coltrane
and Billie Holiday nod their heads in approval. More than three decades after
its release, Pieces of a Man is just as – if not more – powerful and
influential today as it was the day it was released.
All Music Guide – Jon Azpiri