Apr 1, 2014
Today would have been the 65th birthday of Gil Scott-Heron, the 70's singer-songwriter-poet whose work was a major influence for the rap/hip-hop scene of the 80's and 90's. Gil passed in May 2011 after illness.
Jazz singer Giacomo Gates had a best-selling CD covering Gil Scott-Heron material a few years back, and our conversation was Podcast 264. We had a freewheeling conversation on how to choose songs, the nature of “vocalese” and the reasons he felt the Gil Scott-Heron record would be a success. He’s quick to note that The Revolution Will Be Jazz is not a “tribute record” as the project was begun several years ago, and finished months before Gil’s untimely death.
Click here to listen to our talk, including musical selections from Gates’ albums, including:
“Show Business” from The Revolution Will Be Jazz. Of all the tunes he chose, Gates may have felt a special kinship to this tune, with its sly message and deep humor.
“Lady Day and John Coltrane” from The Revolution Will Be Jazz. For my money, this is the highlight of the CD, with stunning interplay between the rhythm section of Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Vincent Ector (drums) and John Di Martino on piano.
“Hungry Man” from Luminosity. Giacomo sings a tune of great humor and warmth backed by a band of Di Martino on piano; Ray Drummond on bass; Greg Bandy on drums; Bob Kindred on sax and Tony Lombardozzi on guitar.
“Melodious Funk” from Luminosity. Listen to the interview to hear a great story of how this tune came to be recorded. Priceless.
“Route 66” from Centerpiece. A great rendition of classic song, covered by everyone from Nat “King” Cole to the Rolling Stones. A top band is on hand, with Drummond and Bandy joined by Harold Danko on piano, Vincent Herring on sax and Vic Juris on guitar.