RIP Gil Scott-Heron 1949 – 2011

Damn. Can’t believe Gil Scott-Heron passed away overnight. Back when I was doing the funk n soul show for FBi Radio in Sydney, the guy who did the punk / hardcore / metal show before me used to always ask for some Gil Scott somewhere in the first part of mine, so he could hear it while he was packing up. I always though this was funny, though now I’m not sure why. The music eliminated genre boundaries a long time ago. 

His last offering, after a 16 year hiatus, I’m New Here was a brilliant way to step back in to the game without fault. As with everything else he recorded, there was no bullshit. Just him. I hope those who got to know his work from the project with an indie artist will take a bit of time to go back through his catalogue. There’s no substitute for the first time you hear Pieces Of A Man, nor Bridges for that matter.

Gil Scott-Heron was a revolutionary and an incredible inspiration for a lot of what we hold dear in music. His work comes down to the core of good music, just doing what you believe in. There was no style for him to bite back then, he performed as he felt and if nothing else you’ve got to respect that.

I didn’t know the man personally, there’s not much I can really add to the masses of tributes and bio’s that have been floating around. With someone like Gil Scott-Heron it’s probably best to let the music do the talking in any case. The five tracks below are ones that I remember hearing for the first time.