Gil Scott-Heron was a jazz and soul, musician, and author, known for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. With a wide range of diverse fans he delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles. He referred to himself as a “bluesologist”, which he defined as “a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues.”
After a 16 year stretch he recorded his last album released in 2010 entitled I’m New Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, April 27, 2011. In looking through his video footage today, I chose one in particular besides Gils obvious talent and the amazing Midnight Band, was because of something he said before he starts his performance at the half way point in the video. He said “Every once in awhile I have gone into record stores lately and found our music in a category called miscellaneous. Bothered the hell out of me. Folks are often to anxious to put things into various little compartments. To often they are to anxious to sweep certain sorts of music under the corner of the rug. We find that this is particularly true with music that they refer to as jazz.”
Update: This video was deleted unfortunately on youtube, so I have reposted two more videos instead. The first one is Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” an excellent 60 minute documentary. The second one is Gil Scott-Heron “Is That Jazz” performed live.
Check out Gil Scott-Heron’s last album “I’m New Here” on iTunes MUSIC. And while you are there browse and listen to all of his work and you will understand why he became a cult classic and an inspiration for many new artists.