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Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson* - Winter In America

Winter in America is a studio album by American soul artist Gil Scott-Heron and musician Brian Jackson, released in May 1974 on Strata-East Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during September to October 1973 at D&B Sound Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland. It contains introspective and socially-conscious lyrics by Scott-Heron that reflect on African-American culture at the time of the album's conception. While Jackson's piano-based arrangements are rooted in jazz and the blues, their stripped-down production for the album resulted in a reliance on more traditional African and R&B sounds.

The album serves as Scott-Heron's and Jackson's debut release for Strata-East Records, following a dispute with their former label and departure. It proved to be their sole release for the independent jazz label. Upon its release, Winter in America featured limited distribution in the United States and quickly became rare in print. However, with promotional help from its only single "The Bottle", it obtained considerably larger commercial success than Scott-Heron's and Jackson's previous work. The album debuted at number six on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart and ultimately sold over 300,000 copies in the United States.

While it was critically overlooked upon its release, Winter in America earned retrospective acclaim from several writers and music critics as Scott-Heron's and Jackson's greatest work together. Along with its critical recognition, it has been noted by several critics for its influence on derivative music forms such as neo soul and hip hop music, as many artists of the genres have been influenced by Scott-Heron's and Jackson's lyrical and musical approach on the album. On March 10, 1998, Winter in America was reissued on compact disc for the first time in the United States through Scott-Heron's Rumal-Gia Records.   

Genre: Funk/Soul, Jazz
Style: Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Rhythm & Blues
Year: 1974
Peace Go With You, My Brother (As-Salaam-Alaikum) 5:30  
Rivers Of My Fathers 8:29  
A Very Precious Time 5:13  
Back Home 2:50  
The Bottle 5:14  
Song For Bobby Smith 4:42  
Your Daddy Loves You 2:57  
H2O Gate Blues 8:23  
Peace Go With You Brother (Wa-Alaikum-Salaam) 1:11  




Discography - Studio albums:

1970 - Small Talk at 125th and Lenox Flying Dutchman Records
1971 - Pieces of a Man Flying Dutchman Records
1972 - Free Will Flying Dutchman Records
1974 - Winter in America Strata-East Records
1975 - The First Minute of a New Day Arista Records
1976 - From South Africa to South Carolina Arista Records
1976 - It's Your World Arista Records
1977 - Bridges Arista Records
1978 - Secrets Arista Records
1980 - 1980 Arista Records
1980 - Real Eyes Arista Records
1981 - Reflections Arista Records
1982 - Moving Target Arista Records
1994 - Spirits TVT Records
2010 - Malik & the OG's - Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol 1 MCPR Music - Featured artist
2010 - I'm New Here XL Recordings

Cover (Pieces of a Man:Gil Scott-Heron)Cover (Small Talk at 125th and Lenox:Gil Scott-Heron)

Cover (Free Will:Gil Scott-Heron)Cover (Reflections:Gil Scott-Heron)

Cover (Moving Target:Gil Scott-Heron)Cover (Minister of Information: Live:Gil Scott-Heron)

Cover (Spirits:Gil Scott-Heron)Cover (I'm New Here:Gil Scott-Heron)


Despite his reputation as the godfather of rap, Gil Scott-Heron's 'Winter In America', is a soulful record, highlighting his rich voice and Brian Jackson's musicianship.

The spoken word emphasis of Small Talk At 125th & Lenox, Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 debut, was followed by a move in to more conventional song structures for the follow-ups, Pieces Of A Man and Free Will. These albums saw the evolution of Scott-Heron from politicised poet to soulful singer, with each album's melodic content improving and expanding due to the influence of pianist/flutist Brian Jackson.

The deep tenor of Scott-Heron's voice reached a maturity on 1974's Winter In America, a record which saw his voice adapt with ease and effect to songs about love, fatherhood, freedom, alcoholism, and the dark cloud of Watergate.

Peace Go With You Brother

The album opens with 'Peace Go With You Brother', introducing itself with a haunting and sparse Fender Rhodes melody, which recalls In A Silent Way-era Miles Davis. Scott-Heron's voice is inflected with the blues throughout the track, criticising people for forgetting their common humanity. There is sarcasm to his claims for peace to follow his brother, as he notes the future is bleak, but obviously that is of little importance to the selfishness of certain members of his generation.

More on: http://www.suite101.com/content/gil-scottheron-a88966

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