Maureen Malloy Recommends...
Giacomo Gates: The Revolution Will Be Jazz - The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron
The ever-witty vocalist Giacomo Gates is usually compared to Eddie Jefferson or Jon Hendricks when it comes to style. If not those artists, he's compared to instrumentalists due to his mastery of Vocalese. That being said, I'm sure you're wondering how the art of the late Gil Scott-Heron can even be associated with Gates.
The Revolution Will Be Jazz (recorded before Gil's passing on May 27th of this year) was not meant to mimic the spoken-word style of the revolutionary activist; it was meant to reach out to his innovative thoughts and relationship with jazz.
Gates chose pieces from Gil Scott-Heron's repertoire that were easily relatable. His own attachments to the messages are valiantly expressed in a manner that any listener could match to a recent event or headline. From over-exposure to advertisements in "Madison Avenue," to paying homage to jazz greats in "Lady Day and John Coltrane," Gates insures that Scott-Heron's revolutionary words are clear, but, in this case, not televised.
This album is easy to listen to. It holds very strong messages, but they're not forced down your throat...they're delivered by a crooner in a straight-ahead way.--Maureen