GIL SCOTT-HERON

Free Will

Flying Dutchman

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Gil Scott-Heron's third album is split down the middle, the first side being a purely musical experience with a full band (including flutist Hubert Laws and drummer Pretty Purdie), the second functioning more as a live rap session with collaborator Brian Jackson on flute and a few friends on percussion. For side one, although he's overly tentative on the ballad The Middle of Your Day, Scott-Heron excels on the title track and the third song, "The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues," one of his best, best-known performances. The second side is more of an impromptu performance, with Scott-Heron often explaining his tracks by way of introduction (No Knock referred to a new police policy whereby knocking was no longer required before entering a house, And Then He Wrote Meditations being Scott-Heron's tribute to John Coltrane). His first exploration of pure music-making, Free Will functions as one of Scott-Heron's most visceral performance, displaying a maturing artist who still draws on the raw feeling of his youth.

Tracklisting

Side A
Free Will
The Middle of the Day
The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues
Speed Kills
Did You Hear What They Said?

Side B
The King Alfred Plan
No Knock
Wiggy
Ain't No New Thing
Billy Green is Dead
Sex Education: Ghetto Style
...and Then He Wrote Meditations