Gil Scott-Heron is a music legend that is no longer with us, but throughout his artistic career he created impactful soul, jazz and was best known for his spoken-word performance, which have many crediting him as a forebear to the hip hop scene to come. He released his final studio album I’m New Here back in 2010 and that album received tons of acclaim, along with a remix version by Jamie xx in 2011 and now jazz bandleader Makaya McCraven brings new life into the recording with his latest project We’re New Again: A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven. These older songs take new life and meaning as the newer compositions reshape them to be a while different listening experience. All the tracks here take different forms as they’re presented with lush jazz orchestration (“I”m New Here”), more soulful sounds (“I’ll Take Care of You”, “This Can’t Be Real”), out there avant-garde compositions (“Blessed People”, People of the light”, “Me and the Devil”) and many spoken word interludes. Throughout the project Gil contemplates his place in the world and where his past life and past actions will have him lay. Another big theme throughout is the love and respect he has for the woman that raised him and shaped into the man he would become. Although I wasn’t very familiar with I’m New Here, it’s fascinating to see how those songs were reimagined and found new life on We’re New Again.
Favorite Tracks: I'm New Here, Running, New York is Killing Me, Where Did the Night Go, I'll Take Care of You, This Can't Be Real, The Crutch, Guided (Broken Home, Pt.4)