Reviewed by Dianne Donovan, host of Voices in Jazz
The Revolution is a Revelation!
Every once in a while, a recording comes along wherein the artist and the material are a perfect match. Such is the case with, The Revolution Will Be Jazz: The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron
I knew it would be interesting to hear Giacomo Gates
cover the music of poet/ soul musician, Gil Scott-Heron but the recording went way beyond my best expectation. That first listen, I was on a drive home after a long day, I literally pulled off the road to listen to, “This Is A Prayer For Everybody in The World”. When was the last time an album stopped you in your tracks?
Gates is a singer who has vocal acrobatics at his fingertips but he uses these skills judiciously, always serving the music. His baritone voice lends a world-wise (not “weary”) sound, he swings but his phrasing is direct, allowing the sometimes funny, sometimes biting lyrics to cut through and remind us how relevant they still are today. Anyone who’s been to New York City at night will recognize its energy, mood and shifting vibes, in the song of the same name.
The band is comprised of fine players with big ears and the thoughtful, well-crafted arrangements set the stage for a great session. This recording was the brainchild of Mark Ruffin, who also produced the project.
My wish for this release is twofold: that it gives Giacomo Gates the attention he’s long deserved and that a whole new generation of eager ears check out the music/poetry of the late great, Gil Scott-Heron.
Band: John Di Martino (piano), Tony Lombardozzi (guitar), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Vincent Ector (drums), Claire Daly (baritone sax, flute)February 3, 2012