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Saturday, April 24, 2010


FREE WILL (1972)
320 KBPS

Gil Scott-Heron's third album is split down the middle, the first side being a purely musical experience with a full band (including flutist Hubert Laws and drummer Pretty Purdie), the second functioning more as a live rap session with collaborator Brian Jackson on flute and a few friends on percussion. For side one, although he's overly tentative on the ballad "The Middle of Your Day," Scott-Heron excels on the title track and the third song, "The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues," one of his best, best-known performances. The second side is more of an impromptu performance, with Scott-Heron often explaining his tracks by way of introduction ("No Knock" referred to a new police policy whereby knocking was no longer required before entering a house, "And Then He Wrote Meditations" being Scott-Heron's tribute to John Coltrane). His first exploration of pure music-making, Free Will functions as one of Scott-Heron's most visceral performance, displaying a maturing artist who still draws on the raw feeling of his youth.

1. Free Will
2. Middle of Your Day
3. Get out of the Ghetto Blues
4. Speed Kills
5. Did You Hear What They Said?
6. King Alfred Plan
7. No Knock
8. Wiggy
9. Ain't No New Thing
10. Billy Green Is Dead
11. Sex Education: Ghetto Style
12. ...And Then He Wrote Meditations


Loren said...

First Gil Scott-Heron I heard was Johannesberg. Damn, what a powerful voice. Thanks for the share.

furryhamster said...

What a great and powerful voice. Thank you for this.