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Gil Scott-Heron|The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters

The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters

Gil Scott-Heron

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Gil Scott-Heron's first three albums for Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label have been reissued many times over by a variety of different labels and distributors. While Small Talk at 125th and Lenox and Pieces of a Man have been universally celebrated for their musical, poetic, and militant vision, Free Will, the final date for the label, has been the subject of much debate over the decades. On the original LP, one side featured songs and the other spoken word. While Brian Jackson had been Gil's musical partner since before Pieces of a Man was recorded, he was never given his proper due as a co-composer and collaborator. Free Will reveals that collaboration and balance in full. Before recording, Jackson wanted more music, Gil wanted more spoken word; they got both and the album is all the better for it. It is the contrast and juxtaposition on that recording that provided the impetus for the Dean Rudland-compiled The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters. Disc one features all of the Scott-Heron and Jackson songs recorded for the label, regardless of which album they appeared on. From "Lady Day and John Coltrane," "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" (which, it turns out, Scott-Heron may have been singing into a mirror all along, and by home, he wasn't referring to his family, but America itself), and the second version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" with musical backing, to "Pieces of a Man," "Who'll Pay the Reparations On My Soul," and more, all play out in an intense, soulful, funky, beautifully remastered, hour-long set. Disc two contains all of the spoken word material, which includes virtually all of Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, the second half of Free Will, and other pieces, including the liberal-baiting "The Subject Was Faggots" and "Wiggy." The lone deviation is "Artificialness," on which Scott-Heron fronts Pretty Purdie & His Playboys on a spoken word blues shuffle. The final disc contains an alternately assembled version of Free Will. While shoddy and edited versions of some of its tracks appeared on an earlier RCA compilation, these are the full alternate takes, carefully remixed from original multi-track session tapes, with particular attention paid to the source material. As such, an entirely different Free Will is on display with a real feel for session flow, despite the separation of music and poetry on it; it's not better or worse, but very different. It is a treasure trove of kinetic studio energy with an abundance of free-flowing ideas in process. The Revolution Begins does present a problem, however. By jumbling recordings into what, in essence, is a pair of anthologies, Small Talk and Pieces of a Man are dislocated from their original contexts, which creates an unnecessary separation between music and poetry that were initially regarded as a multi-dimensional and holistic force. Though that shift in history and intent is present, it's far from a deal breaker, because all of the material on The Revolution Begins is unassailable.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters

Gil Scott-Heron

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1
Lady Day and John Coltrane
Various Interprets
00:03:36

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

2
Home Is Where the Hatred Is
Various Interprets
00:03:21

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

3
Save the Children
Various Interprets
00:04:28

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

4
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Various Interprets
00:03:07

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

5
Did You Hear What They Said?
Various Interprets
00:03:30

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

6
Pieces of a Man
Various Interprets
00:04:54

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

7
Speed Kills
Various Interprets
00:03:17

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

8
Everyday
Various Interprets
00:04:23

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

9
I Think I'll Call It Morning
Various Interprets
00:03:31

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

10
When You Are Who You Are
Various Interprets
00:03:23

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

11
Free Will
Various Interprets
00:03:33

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

12
Or Down You Fall
Various Interprets
00:03:13

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

13
The Needle's Eye
Various Interprets
00:04:50

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

14
The Middle of Your Day
Various Interprets
00:04:30

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

15
A Sign of the Ages
Various Interprets
00:04:03

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

16
Who'll Pay Reparations on My Soul?
Various Interprets
00:05:14

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

DISC 2

1
Introduction / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Various Interprets
00:03:23

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

2
Whitey on the Moon
Various Interprets
00:02:00

Gil Scott-Heron, MainArtist - G.Scott-Heron, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

3
No Knock
Various Interprets
00:02:13

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

4
Small Talk at 125th & Lenox
Various Interprets
00:01:23

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

5
Billy Green Is Dead
Various Interprets
00:01:31

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

6
Sex Education: Ghetto Style
Various Interprets
00:00:53

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

7
The Vulture
Various Interprets
00:04:35

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

8
The Prisoner
Various Interprets
00:09:27

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

9
...And Then He Wrote Meditations
Various Interprets
00:03:14

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

10
Plastic Pattern People
Various Interprets
00:02:53

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

11
The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues
Various Interprets
00:05:09

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

12
Artificialness
Various Interprets
00:03:07

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Bernard Purdie, Composer - Pretty Purdie & The Playboys, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

13
Ain't No New Thing
Various Interprets
00:04:33

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

14
Brother
Various Interprets
00:02:37

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

15
Evolution (And Flashback)
Various Interprets
00:03:22

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

16
The King Alfred Plan
Various Interprets
00:02:48

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

17
Enough
Various Interprets
00:04:13

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

18
Paint It Black
Various Interprets
00:00:33

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

19
Omen
Various Interprets
00:01:46

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

20
Wiggy
Various Interprets
00:01:39

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

21
Comment #1
Various Interprets
00:04:28

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

22
The Subject Was Faggots
Various Interprets
00:03:11

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Bob Thiele, Producer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

DISC 3

1
Did You Hear What They Said? (Alt Take 1)
Various Interprets
00:03:30

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

2
The Middle of Your Day (Alt Take 1)
Various Interprets
00:04:41

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

3
Free Will (Alt Take 1)
Various Interprets
00:02:57

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

4
The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues (Alternate Ending)
Various Interprets
00:05:06

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

5
Speed Kills (Alt Take 3)
Various Interprets
00:03:19

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist - Brian Jackson, Composer

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

6
The King Alfred Plan (Alt)
Various Interprets
00:03:02

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

7
No Knock (Alt)
Various Interprets
00:02:04

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

8
Wiggy (Alt)
Various Interprets
00:01:30

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

9
Ain't No New Thing (Breakdown Take)
Various Interprets
00:02:42

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

10
Billy Green Is Dead (Alt)
Various Interprets
00:01:34

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

11
...And Then He Wrote Meditations (Alt)
Various Interprets
00:01:33

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

12
No Knock (Breakdown Alt Take)
Various Interprets
00:02:09

Gil Scott-Heron, Composer, MainArtist

2012 Ace Records 2012 Ace Records

Album Description

Gil Scott-Heron's first three albums for Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label have been reissued many times over by a variety of different labels and distributors. While Small Talk at 125th and Lenox and Pieces of a Man have been universally celebrated for their musical, poetic, and militant vision, Free Will, the final date for the label, has been the subject of much debate over the decades. On the original LP, one side featured songs and the other spoken word. While Brian Jackson had been Gil's musical partner since before Pieces of a Man was recorded, he was never given his proper due as a co-composer and collaborator. Free Will reveals that collaboration and balance in full. Before recording, Jackson wanted more music, Gil wanted more spoken word; they got both and the album is all the better for it. It is the contrast and juxtaposition on that recording that provided the impetus for the Dean Rudland-compiled The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters. Disc one features all of the Scott-Heron and Jackson songs recorded for the label, regardless of which album they appeared on. From "Lady Day and John Coltrane," "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" (which, it turns out, Scott-Heron may have been singing into a mirror all along, and by home, he wasn't referring to his family, but America itself), and the second version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" with musical backing, to "Pieces of a Man," "Who'll Pay the Reparations On My Soul," and more, all play out in an intense, soulful, funky, beautifully remastered, hour-long set. Disc two contains all of the spoken word material, which includes virtually all of Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, the second half of Free Will, and other pieces, including the liberal-baiting "The Subject Was Faggots" and "Wiggy." The lone deviation is "Artificialness," on which Scott-Heron fronts Pretty Purdie & His Playboys on a spoken word blues shuffle. The final disc contains an alternately assembled version of Free Will. While shoddy and edited versions of some of its tracks appeared on an earlier RCA compilation, these are the full alternate takes, carefully remixed from original multi-track session tapes, with particular attention paid to the source material. As such, an entirely different Free Will is on display with a real feel for session flow, despite the separation of music and poetry on it; it's not better or worse, but very different. It is a treasure trove of kinetic studio energy with an abundance of free-flowing ideas in process. The Revolution Begins does present a problem, however. By jumbling recordings into what, in essence, is a pair of anthologies, Small Talk and Pieces of a Man are dislocated from their original contexts, which creates an unnecessary separation between music and poetry that were initially regarded as a multi-dimensional and holistic force. Though that shift in history and intent is present, it's far from a deal breaker, because all of the material on The Revolution Begins is unassailable.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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