Friday, February 26, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron Against The Elements

Two big features on newstands right now: my retrospective of Gil Scott-Heron's career, and the improvised community of The Element Choir.

In Exclaim, I jumped right in to the career of Scott-Heron, whose notable silence of the last 25 is contrasted by the first dozen years of his artistic output which produced so much material that only a few nuggets have stood out from consistent excellence. It was a treat going through all the albums and videos I could to get a much fuller picture of the man than I'd had before. Unfortunatlely, that picture isn't very pretty right now, but the new album is still vital listening, despite/because of its contrast with almost everything else he's recorded.

In Eye Weekly, I finally got a good opportunity to write about vocalist Christine Duncan. And what an opportunity: the Element Choir is 50 strong, backed by an ultra-polyphonous pipe organ. The combination will make a joyful noise in Christ Church Deer Park.

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