Winter in America is a studio album by American vocalist Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson. It was recorded in September to October 1973 at D&B Sound Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland and released in May 1974 by Strata-East Records. Scott-Heron and Jackson produced the album in a stripped-down fashion, relying on traditional African and R&B sounds, while Jackson's piano-based arrangements were rooted in jazz and the blues. The subject matter on Winter in America deals with the African-American community and inner city in the 1970s. The album serves as Scott-Heron and Jackson's debut release for Strata-East, following a dispute with their former label and departure. It proved to be their sole release for the independent jazz label. Upon its release, Winter in America featured limited distribution in the United States and quickly became rare in print. However, with promotional help from its only single "The Bottle", it obtained considerably larger commercial success than Scott-Heron's and Jackson's previous work. The album debuted at number six on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart and ultimately sold over 300,000 copies in the United States. While it was critically overlooked upon its release, Winter in America earned retrospective acclaim from several writers and music critics as Scott-Heron's and Jackson's greatest work together. Along with its critical recognition, it has been noted by several critics for its influence on derivative music forms such as neo soul and hip hop music, as many artists of the genres have been influenced by Scott-Heron's and Jackson's lyrical and musical approach on the album. On March 10, 1998, Winter in America was reissued on compact disc for the first time in the United States through Scott-Heron's Rumal-Gia Records.Wikipedia
Really enjoyable. Reminds you how little has changed in politics since the 70s. (Could not find on Spotify, YouTube link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnkDjMDD3JQ)
I love the electric piano, the bluesy jazzy fusion feel, the political lyrics and his pained voice. GSH sings like he has lived every word (the opposite of Paul Simon). My gripe is that 1001 shouldn’t have picked this album over his 1971 release “Pieces of a Man”. While I may grumble a bit about their choice of Allman Brothers or Alice Cooper or Steely Dan albums, not including “Pieces of a Man” is a serious oversight. It’s a historic release, with the epic “The Revolution Will Not be Televised” who many say was the first hip-hop song and there’s at least a half-dozen other epic tracks. I’ll never get tired of “Lady and John Coltrane” or “Home is where the Hatred Is”. It’s a highly listenable LP, back-to-front. I was going to post a complaint on reddit/1001 but I didn’t want to interrupt a heated discussion about the merits of Napalm Death.
I also do not know if this should be in the miscellaneous, jazz, or on which shelf. I know it should be on my shelf.
absolutamente inacreditável que nunca tinha nem ouvido falar disso aqui
Its emotional and political. Gil and Brian used their art and their talents as an extension of the community, to reflect the mood, the sensitivity, the circumstance of the community and America at that time. The wo derful "The Bottle" did unfortunately become a self fullfilling prophesy for Gil Scott Heron and I also believe H20gate Blues is as much about the politics of America today as it was nearly 50 years ago. Now on to listen to another two of his tremendous albums Pieces of a Man and Free Will. Gil Scott Heron is forever in my heart.
This was really good, has a way with words. I liked his explanation of The Blues and the jazz song about Watergate. Reminds me of antiwar icier men like Michael Franti and Billy Bragg
Did nothing for me. Music is good, voice is good, but it just doesn't gel to something great. 2.5/5
this just really was not my vibe at all like it was funky and groovy but just not the type of music i’d listen to ever.
SO GOOD. My standout track was The Bottle, and honestly all of side 2 especially . I wish this was on Spotify. For my own note keeping, a blurb I copied from Wikipedia below: Winter in America juxtaposes themes of nostalgic hope to the social problems of the early 1970s, particularly in the African-American community and inner cities. Also a prominent theme in Scott-Heron's lyrics is people's faith in their culture in a bleak, impoverished environment.
Not for me
I love Gil Scott-Heron but haven't listened to this one. It's fantastic though. The piano playing is incredibly beautiful and really complements his voice. Another for the vinyl list!
Extremely soulful stuff. Had a blast with this listen, and I'm certain I'll need to check out more of this stuff. Favorites: "Peace Go With You, Brother", "Rivers of My Fathers", "The Bottle", "Song for Bobby Smith"
Blown away by this, really incredible.
A powerful, beautiful blend of musical styles. Despite what the lyrics are talking about, which is important and serious stuff, the instrumentals were soothing and just a joy to listen to. The piano work in this is amazing. And damn, 'H2OGate Blues' is such a good, poignant, powerful song.
Damn I love Gil Scott-Heron. Wish Pieces of a Man was on the list as well. He is socially conscious, calming, uplifting, hilarious, groovy, heartbreaking, smooth, and a hundred other things all in one album and I always find myself wanting more. 10/10
This album is really enjoyable. Interesting to note Kendrick Lamar samples the first song (at 0:50) in Poe Man’s Dream
Good album. Really liked "The Bottle". Listening from a modern perspective, offers a great window into the 70s.
Really loved the sound of this
Every time I hear Gil Scott-Heron I learn a little bit about something.
This was such a wonderful synthesis of blues, R&B, and just that classic 70s Black sound. I loved every one of these tracks, but my jaw dropped during H20Gate Blues. That shit could have been written YESTERDAY it's so sadly relevant. I was on the fence about 4 or 5 here, but I've talked myself into a 5 because I realize I want to listen to this a lot more, and also to the rest of Gil's records.
Ok how is Winter in America not on Spotify? It’s fantastic!! I can see how Gil Scott is considered a precursor to hip hop and rap, there’s wonderful poetry here as well as just… good music. Loved The Bottle and H2Ogate Blues, but overall the experience was inspiring. After listening I went straight to Pieces of a Man, which opens with a wonderful poem based on the slogan “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. The rest of the album doesn’t get that political but it’s still a fantastic sou l record. 5/5 for both albums, will revisit a lot.
Soul filled hammond and a reverence that speaks to the lyrics is how it opens and it is captivating. This piano on Rivers Of My Fathers is wild. Dude what a wholesome and uplifting album. OH THE WATERGATE BLUES IS THE BEST! wow what a great musical expression.
It is criminal that this album is not on any streaming services. This is an awesome album. I'd love to have it on vinyl. I was jamming the entire time. I went into this album expecting to give it a 4 because of its genres, but came out eager to give it a 5. My favourite songs were Rivers of My Fathers, A Very Precious Time, and The Bottle.
like nothing i've heard before, loved
Apt, considering the snow outside right now. A cozy record that harkens to home around a fireplace we can barely afford to light. I like it.
The ideal intersection of jazzy, spacey, and soulful for my rainy afternoon drive home. This was so powerful that I am upset I'd never heard of it before.
One of the strongest voices in history
This is exactly type of record I had hoped to encounter when I started this list. Winter in America is completely unique and engaging to my ears. It’s funky and captivating with conscientious, poetic lyrics that paint a vivid picture of American Life that, frankly, isn’t wildly different from the America we live in today, nearly 50 years later. It’s the kind of record that I don’t think anyone else could make or even attempt to recreate. Gil Scott Heron’s talent, his way with words, is incomparable. This record was a breath of fresh air. I loved it. It’s a shame it isn’t easily available for digital purchase or streaming outside of YouTube. I ordered a copy on vinyl after my first listen, thats how mischievous I loved it.
J'adore le style, très belle voix et tres groové, c'est platte que ca ne soit pas sur spotify. 5
As much as Pieces of a Man gets possibly the most recognition from Gil Scott-Heron's catalogue, Winter in America is, to me, his absolute best.
Another insane album that is sadly not on spotify. Jazz, soul, R&B and the blues mixed together to create some great tunes. The bottle is the highlight of the album for me. 9/10
This is a fantastic album and artist worthy of being on this list and a 5/5 rating, just for the skill level, poetry, and historic/political importance. I love the jazzy flute solos and GSH's voice is so pained. Brian Jackson's piano playing is amazing. I find it to be a challenging listen, not easy or light at all, but a bit grueling and heavy. It's not one I will reach for when I need a pick-me-up. But of course, that's not the point at all. Like so many really important albums, it is not an easy piece of music, but worth the effort. 5/5
Absolutely gorgeous. I was a little wary with the first song, but the album pulled me in extremely quickly and rarely let go. It is an utter travesty that this is unavailable on any steaming services, because I want to listen to this constantly.
A great disc that everyone should hear. Like Patti Smith, Gil Scott-Heron is a poet first and a musician second. The music is soulful and intimate. While Jackson's piano work is almost improvisational, Gil Scott-Heron's lyrics are direct and almost prophetic. The Bottle is a standout.
Timeless good blues/jazz/soul/funk music !
GSH has such a sweet voice, even when he’s simply speaking it’s mellifluous. I agree that Pieces of a man is a superior album and should have been on this list instead. I also prefer his last album, I’m not here to this. But his influence and artistry cannot be denied.
This album is quite enjoyable. The minimalist well played piano coupled with excellent vocals and relevant lyrics really works.
Not bad, not bad. Like: Back Home Did not expect there's a talk show there...
I liked it i think! very jazzy and soulful.
Scott-Heron's work seems to me sometimes as not so much music as a sonic art installation, which is maybe a distinction without difference? Interesting to listen too and definitely makes me think but I'm not exactly tapping my toes.
It was enjoyable. Good background music; I was listening to it whilst cleaning my room.
3.5/5. Good. Not as good as Pieces of a Man, but certainly a solid album.
This album is a socially conscious blend of soul and cool jazz that at times seems to predict the eventual rise of rap with Gil Scott-Heron’s spoken delivery. This album is somewhat conversational which lends a sense of intimacy that makes its message effective
I realized after researching a bit that I was familiar with Gil Scott-Heron through The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. This is great stuff. Super jazzy and bluesy. Loved the piano.
an interesting one
Had to download it - not on Spotify. Proper good stuff this - very funky, very groovy and politically on point all these years later
The smooth Fender Rhodes electric organ all over this album is absolutely intoxicating. Beautiful warbled textures from start to finish executing deeply soulful cascading chord progressions. Of course Gil Scott-Heron's poetry over the top only adds to the alluring atmosphere here.
CD muito bom!
...unfortunately for me this wasn't available on Apple Music in the States - here's a YouTube playlist if others have the same issue; first 9 songs are the original album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSSNXW9EANA&list=PLDIxWXRU4UDpUpAB4vMTUroYuvodq118L - - - - Different. Excellent. I really enjoy this - very raw with not a ton of instrumentation; I enjoy Gil's voice quite a bit and it meshes perfectly with Brian Jackson's keyboard sound - perfect compliments to each other. The jazz-soul aspects of this definitely are "of the age" and one might say it sounds dated (and it definitely does) but in this case I like it. Really nice listening musically and lyrically interesting especially on multiple listens; many topics dealing with inner city issues and neglect. "H20Gate Blues" is sort of the outlier musically but still fun to listen to and important - a funny mostly-ad-libbed poem dealing with the then-timely Nixon/Agnew fkery of the country. This is one I'd like to actually find on vinyl - will definitely come back to this one. 8/10 4 stars.
Had to do some digging to find this one, but man did I dig it. I'm really into Heron's work, I feel like we had another album of his on here, but I'm just remembering that I recently bought one from him on vinyl. His spoken-word poetry style, which could at times be characterized as "rap," is really engaging. I love the tracks that are personal or political (most of them to be fair). I know "The Bottle" from being sampled by Knxwledge for "Suede," that's a great track. There's an excellent run of tracks on the back end of this, especially with H2OGate. Really love this, more Gil-Scott Heron would be welcome! Favorite tracks: Your Daddy Loves You, H2OGate Blues, Peace Go With You Brother, The Bottle, Song for Bobby Smith. Album art: Heavy on the framing, but the picture is actually really cool. Love that funky art style. 4.5/5
Quite hard to find, this one - but worth it, his voice is wonderful as ever here, bluesy, jazzy, soulful - with some strong things to say about the politics of the day. Makes you sit up and listen.
Genre: Soul 4/5 Gil Scott-Heron, a man better known as the godfather of rap, being one of the first artists to synthesize black musical soundscapes with spoken word, feauturing some of the more scathing political commentary that was around at the time, is an icon. While this album, a soul-jazz project with jazz keyboardist Brian Jackson, doesn't truly represent Scott-Heron's usual body of work, it serves as a good starting point for what should be an eventual dive into his archives. There are some really tremendous tracks here. The intro Peace Go with You, Brother is a beautiful piece of smooth soul with some really great singing, to elegant jazz blends on The Bottle, to the song you're more apt to see throughout his discography H2Ogate Blues, a blues jam that Gil Scott-Heron floats on top of with his own unique style of elegantly worded, socially conscious, anti-government rhymes. There should be more of this man in this book (this is it, for some reason), and I'm not quite sure why this was the selection the editors made of his, but it's still a damn good album.
Why is this not on Spotify or Apple Music
This was a cool album. I've been meaning to listen to Gil Scott Heron for a long time. The music is cool, if not a bit subdued in order to give more focus to his lyrics. My favorite track was the last one, which was pretty funny while also making a lot of good points. I'd like to come back to this album when I've got more time to focus on what he's saying 4/5
Das war sehr cool. Scott-Heron ist eh ne Legende aber das scheint eher ein Deep cut zu sein und hat mir sehr gut gefallen, vor allem diese crowd interaction und der h20 gate track
sehr gut und an manchen stellen witzig?
Huh, the other Gil Scott-Heron stuff I've listened to has been almost entirely spoken word, so it was a surprise there was so much singing on here. There's a lot to enjoy - funk, soul, jazz, and a little of that spoken word I was hankering for... Fave track - "H2Ogate Blues" - that was great, and educational too!
Finally got around to listening to this one - absolutely great stuff. The mix of proto-rap with the ethereal flute-heavy free jazz creates a great soundscape
Who will survive. Gil Scott-Heron met de grote woorden der waarheid over den USA. Prachtig
J’adore la sensibilité de Gil Scott-Heron. Cet album est une sorte de chaînon manquant entre plein de choses, dont certaines sont encore à venir. 4/5 à cause d’une certaine redondance dans les styles musicaux.
Loved H2Ogate Blues.
Very interesting use of spoken word and jazz. I really enjoyed it.
“So, there are six cardinal colors: yellow, red, orange, green, blue, and purple. And there are 3,000 shades. And if you take these 3,000 shades and divide them by 6, you will come up with 500 — meaning there are at least 500 shades of the blues.” H2O Gate Blues
Really interesting combination of jazz/soul and social commentary. It's not always what I'll look for in a music album but it definitely deserves another listen to fully absorb
A forgotten and underrated genius. This is soulful, sprawling and serious. Godfather of hip-hop indeed. Was a pleasure to go deeper with an artist I knew only tangentially.
One smooth, laid-back album, full of groove and soul. Nice
Unable to listen to the album as not on Spotify.
7/10. Nice stuff, and always fun to hear a song commenting on what is now a historical event.
This is a nice album. It's a pity that it's not available on streaming services. The voice did become a bit difficult for me to listen to at some point, but overall it's simply a pleasure to listen to. I wish I would've been able to pay more attention to it. But my mind tends to wander with pieces like this. Highlights: The Bottle
Could not find the album on Spotify! Still listened to some of the songs though
Having lived thru the timeframe of this album, amazed at the cultural references. Great light jazz, non preachy lyrics. Great for rainy morning drive
Hard to get a grasp of this after only one listen. Powerful and smooth at the same time. I need to listen to more of Hill Scott-Heron's work
Love the stripped back instrumentation. Adds just enough body, but still leaves the focus on Gil's poetry. Think it all works really well together. Favorite tracks: "H2O Gate Blues", "Your Daddy Loves You", "The Bottle"
wow! So I had skipped this one for months since it's not available on Apple Music. Finally played through it on YouTube today, and was very impressed. So smooth, and so impacting. An amazing glimpse into the soul of the 1979s black man.
This was a nice smooth, laid-back kind of light-jazz album. I'm not sure if it's because I could only listen to it on YT but the voice didn't do it for me. I enjoyed more the piano and background music than the lyrics/voice.
Stripped-down funk based on Jackson’s jazzy keys and Heron’s social poetry. Very solid!
Loud and Proud
I really enjoyed this. The slam poetry was the only mark against it, although that was enjoyable in its own way. Best track: The Bottle
Soulfully chill and a good match for a heavy snow day (seriously there's a winter advisory out there right now). Obviously Winter in America is speaking more to civil rights issues around the time of the album, and thematically it's very strong. Love the Rhodes piano across the album as well. Some vocal points I wasn't into, but overall very good. I can see why some would rate highly.
More familiar with "Pieces of a Man" but I think I enjoy this more, for both the musical arrangements and the singing.
Very soulful, definitely recognizing some things here that have been sampled and I never knew where they came from until now. That electric piano is really doing it for me.
Quite a transition from Smashing Pumpkins yesterday.. this one was really interesting! I've always been interested in Gil Scott-Heron, since hearing I'm New Here it was clear he had quite a history with music, and that title becomes more tongue-in-cheek as I listened to Winter In America. It's hard to pick a favorite here from first listen, H2Ogate blues definitely is prophetic in both it's political message and musical style, there are through lines that can be drawn to today's underground rap, the title track is so groovy with that incredible flute solo.. I love the stripped down production, relying on equal parts jazz, Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting, and importantly on negative space Will definitely be revisiting
Released by strata-east!love the indie jazz,neo soul vibes
I can now see why folks appreciate Gil Scott-Heron so much. The lyricism is incredible!
I recently got into Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 album "I'm New Here" and it's fantastic. I'm excited to dive deeper into the catalog. UPDATE: This was fantastic! And it was recorded near where I live! H20 Gate Blues was definitely a standout track.
Great album. Kendrick Lamar might have listen to this album.
Very enjoyable listen
Personal and political soul music Is soul just blues + jazz + heart? Big vibe Lotta jazz poetry on this one Warm sound to the music "GIL SCOTT-HERON" -LCD Soundsystem (Losing My Edge) H20 Gate Blues was a favorite of mine "Richard Daley: imperial, Napoleonic Mayor of Chicago / Who took over from Al Capone and / Continues to implement the same tactics"
no disponible en mi pais pero gil scott heron esta goated
Best served with a big spliff and a comfy chair. H2O gate blues is still relevant after almost 50 years
A nice album, culturally and topically important. I find the music a little elusive on this one, though, even with "The Bottle" in the tracklisting. And I agree with a few reviewers in the comments saying that *Pieces Of A Man* should have had priority on this list, because this other Gil Scott-Heron album was as impressive cuturally speaking as it was music-wise. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 792 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 109 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 51 (including this one) Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 48