Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson – Winter in America (1996)

Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson - Winter in America (1996)
Artist: Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson
Album: Winter in America
Genre: Fusion/Poetry/Funk/Groove
Label: Charly
Released: 1996
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
Tracklist:
Peace Go With You, Brother (As-Salaam-Alaikum) 5:27
Rivers of My Fathers 8:19
A Very Precious Time 5:17
Back Home 2:51
The Bottle 5:14
Song for Bobby Smith 4:38
Your Daddy Loves You 3:25
H2O Gate Blues 8:08
Peace Go With You, Brother (Wa-Alaikum-Salaam) 1:11

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The 1974 album from the revolutionary singer and poet braided together his passion for music and literature. Its emotional pitch and fervent political tenor still resonates loudly in America today.

Gil Scott-Heron’s literary side was nurtured by his grandmother who introduced him to the poems and stories of Langston Hughes when he was a young boy. He was raised by her in Jackson, Tenn., where he read Hughes’ texts in the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper the old lady had delivered weekly. Inspired to start writing when he was in fifth grade, Gil filled notebooks with his own poems and prose as he began observing the world around him. “I’d do two-page things and gradually writing became like a rainy day pastime,” he told writer Nat Hentoff in 1971. “What I wrote got longer and longer… When I start to really get into writing, I can’t deal with whatever else is going on.” While Gil also began taking piano lessons, his first aspiration was to be a novelist.

After his grandmother died when Gil was 12, he relocated to New York City with his mother and together dwelled inside a Chelsea housing project. Years later, when it came time to choose a college, he opted for Lincoln University in Pennsylvania simply because it was Hughes’ alma mater. Although getting into the school as English major wasn’t a problem, Gil was also itching to complete his debut novel The Vulture. “It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that my life depended on completing The Vulture and having it accepted for publication,” Gil once recalled.

Promising his family that he would return for his degree, Gil took a leave of absence after six weeks into his sophomore year and finished his Manhattan-based murder mystery. Coming at a time when the textual surrealism of Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and Henry Dumas dominated the black-lit shelves, Gil’s book had a more straightforward narrative that was closer to the black pulp style of Rudolph Fisher or Chester Himes.
by Michael A. Gonzales

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