Gil Scott-Heron

Born 1 April 1949. Died 27 May 2011.
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Gil Scott-Heron - A Jazz House Pocket Legend

Stephen Duffy's Pocket Legend on The Jazz House, 21 January 2009, was the late Gil Scott-Heron.

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Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and '80s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was "bluesologist", which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues." His music, most notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul.

Besides influencing contemporary musicians, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, The Last Holiday, was also published, posthumously in January 2012.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of We're New Here

    We're New Here 2011

    Reviewed by Ele Beattie
    A cohesive, considered masterpiece in its own right.
  2. Review of I'm New Here

    I'm New Here 2010

    Reviewed by Nick Neyland
    An unlikely but triumphant return, packed full of sadness and experience.
  3. Review of Pieces of A Man

    Pieces of A Man 1995

    Reviewed by David O'Donnell
    The album is a great example of his lyrical prowess
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