Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Bridges
Dec 30, 2022
Love this project. I haven’t heard much from Gil Scott-Heron aside from his classic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, same goes for Brain Jackson. But despite this, I feel like this album was a great introduction to the both of them.

The music here is just incredible, and this excels at making the sound of every track distinct with a varied amount of instrumentation, synths modes, and colors. “Racetrack in France” gets real FUNKY with its immediate phasered guitar chords, and its thumping, almost percussive synthesizers. “Under the Hammer” is the certified banger of the album, having a focus on lead guitar with its smashing harmonics, bouncy licks, and solos that can send you to the stratosphere (amazing production on this one). And “Vildgolia (Deaf, Dumb & Blind)” comes out of nowhere with it’s blaring horns, climatic drum lines, and what I think is Gil or someone else making random integrations in a Dracula voice (so like, the best one automatically).

But while this album’s music is great, Gil Scott-Heron’s lyricism really makes this record for me. There’s so many intelligent, heart-breaking, and yet soul affirming dialogue about the African/African American experience. Whether it be simply wondering what our African ancestors would think about current African American culture. Or the looming hammer that hangs over many black people from birth in this society, this album has it all. But personally, I just love how the album ends on a note of empowerment with “95 South”. Looking back on all of the hardships our ancestors, parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts went through to get us here. And seeing that it’s still not enough, that we’re in this middle area. So we must continue up that mountain, for our children, and beyond.

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