Friday, December 18, 2015

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - 1978 - Secrets

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson

01. Angel Dust   
02. Madison Avenue   
03. Cane   
04. Third World Revolution   
05. Better Days Ahead   
06. Three Miles Down   
07. Angola, Louisiana   
08. Show Bizness   
09. A Prayer For Everybody / To Be Free   

Gil Scott-Heron: lyrics, music, vocals, producer, piano
Brian Jackson: lyrics, music, drums, flute, piano, synthesiser, producer
Julia Waters: backing vocals
Marti McCall: backing vocals
Maxine Waters: backing vocals
Barnett Williams "The Doctor": bata, congas, percussion
Malcolm Cecil: producer, programming
Greg Phillinganes: electric piano, synthesiser
Alvin Taylor: drums
Harvey Mason: drums
Ralph Penland: drums
Leon Williams: tenor saxophone

In '78, Scott-Heron's uncompromising view on America was a completely new experience to many of the young record buyers, yet Secrets was a successful album because it fused ambition and commercialism. Scott-Heron hadn't ceased to deliver his critical and fitting lyrics, but this time, the music sounded Radio-compatible, in spite of Gil not being the greatest singer under the sun.
Tonto's Expanding Head Band's Malcolm Cecil took care of the synth programming, he's known to R&B fans from seminal productions by Stevie Wonder, Minnie Riperton, The Isley Brothers, and others.
Secrets is not Scott-Heron's best album, but it's got its moments; try Angel Dust.
I saw Gil Scott-Heron performing at a Reggae Sun Splash festival (don't know which year it was, mid to late eighties?) on a Public Access station. I was totally enraptured by this incredibly warped sound, almost as if someone was detuning their instruments every five seconds while the band played. I'm not sure who the flutist was but he was playing in this strangely beautiful insanity. The jam went on for a while and then it slowly but surely came to me, the music they we're playing reminded me of when I used to be high on Crazy Eddie/Reverend Ike. And then to really blow my mind the first lyric out of his mouth after ten plus minutes of jamming was "Angel Dust".
I found a greatest hits record and it had the studio version of that song and it sounded nice, but that Angel dust jam....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

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