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Winter In America CD, Import
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La Tournée Française 2010 débutera le 10 Mai à Paris au New Morning et suivront tous les festivals en passant par le « Blues Passions » de Cognac. Pour cette tournée estivale 2010, Charly Records a remasterisé le fabuleux album de Gil Scott-Heron « Winter In America » et ressort l'album avec un nouveau packaging avec étui en carton. Avec prés d'une vingtaine d'albums à son actif, Gil Scott-Heron est une des fi gures les plus emblèmatique de la musique Soul Afro-Américaine, un précurseur du rap, un intellectuel chroniqueur de son temps et un fervent militant des droits de l'homme. Avec cet album 'Winter In America » il a révolutionné la conscience Afro-Américaine avec des textes ultra réalistes comme « The Bottle » ou « H2ogate Blues» et «Peace Go With You Brother ». Tout comme Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye et Curtis Mayfi eld, Gil Scott-Heron est une fi gure incontournable dans l'évolution de la Soul Music.
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"Winter in America" kicks off with what was to become one of Gil's best-known and most often played tunes, "The Bottle." The tune exemplifies the power of his work. He captures life in vivid, poetic images, and he joins the lyrics to street rhythms, in this case, Latin flavored. His often overlooked partner, Brian Jackson, contributes a fine, jazz flute solo.
There are, of course, politics aplenty in "Winter." The title tune itself is a dirge, a prediction of America's failure, which hasn't occurred, of course, if you take Gil literally. His goal -- and Brian's -- was never to predict a Marxist revolution, but to point out the inherent contradictions in a society that celebrates wealth at the same time that it turns a blind eye to the dispossessed and forgotten. And "H2OGate Blues" is one of the best commentaries on the disastrous second term of Tricky Dick Nixon that I've ever heard.
Lest one think that "Winter in America" is a purely political album, however, one should remember that Gil was also capable of penning and singing unabashedly romantic tunes like "A Very Precious Time." If there is any male who remembers anything at all about being 19 years old in the 1970s and can resist lyrics like "Was there a touch of spring?/And did she have a pink dress on?/And when she smiled her shyest smile/Couldn't you almost touch the warmth?" -- well, I guess we need to check that guy's pulse.
Great album -- toughness and tenderness from one of our best-kept secrets.
The album starts with "Peace Go With You Brother", which with its dark tone, would make you believe that this is a prelude of things to come. However, the next track "Rivers of My Fathers" is an outstanding ballad that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Led by one of Scott-Heron's most impressive vocal performances and Jackson's improvisational yet melodic piano work, it is one of their finest compositions. "A Very Precious Time", "Song for Bobby Smith", and "Your Daddy Loves You" are all tender piano ballads that continue the album's introspective tone. The upbeat "Back Home" is one of the best tracks here, sounding like one of those memorable theme songs that opened a lot of the sitcoms back in the day. "The Bottle" is one of his most enduring tracks and certainly one of his funkiest. While it shows Scott-Heron using his gift of intelligently observing the social problems of the day that politicians pretended didn't exist, in this case alcoholism among the black population in the inner cities, his anger is reined in, making his message more effective. However, Scott-Heron's angry and accurate observations of the Watergate scandal on "H20gate Blues" show that the fire still burns. The remastered version contains several bonus tracks, including stellar live versions of "Your Daddy Loves You" and "The Bottle/Guan Guanco" as well as a live version of the timeless "Winter in America", which in its original form wouldn't be released until his next album The First Minute of a New Day. All told, Winter in America shows a softer side of Gil Scott-Heron while not abandoning his roots or his message.
The music, even in this relatively low-key setting, is funky enough to galvanize any feet on the planet, yet imbued with a spiritual power (as well as an iron determination to seek and reveal truth) that both soothes the soul and strengthens the resolve of the listener to carry on. And the "H2OGATE Blues" remains a jubilant celebration of brotherhood, solidarity, and good fellowship (am I the only one who thinks the fellows might have been passing around a bit of herbal inspiration as they riffed and belly-laughed their way through this inspired blast of street poetry?), as well as an evergreen social and political commentary.
The "young warrior" Bobby Smith was blessed to have men like Gil and Brian Jackson around when he was growing up -- even in today's world of shattered dreams and compromised faith, music like this gives one reason to hope.