September 28, 2009

Poet, musician, activist and author Gil Scott-Heron is heading to the Bay Area this weekend, with a live appearance at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. (Goldenvoice presents: Gil Scott-Heron with Ise Lyfe and Orgone)

Herron calls himself a "piano player from Tennessee," but his discography and background speak volumes more than that. His work has defined two, arguably three generations of soul, jazz and hip hop.

Perhaps his most famous piece, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," anticipated the implosion and subsequent decay of the 60's cultural revolution, planting the man and his work in the cannon of high school curricula nationwide. Today's political and social turmoil is fertile soil for Herron's message, he might tell you that little has changed over the last 50 years.

He's been out of touch for decades, but is still plugging away. His latest book, The Last Holiday, covers Stevie Wonder's 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday. And rumor has it that Herron also has new material on the way...

Joining Herron on stage is the Los Angeles based funk and soul outfit, Oregon (Ubiquity Records). The band may need a little more polish, but one of the band's horn players and Bay Area native Joel Bowers (second from the left) is worth a closer look here. I studied music with him during college... He probably knows every one of Stan Getz's solos by heart and can role with the grimiest. We parsed out the dizzying patchworks of horn legends like Eddie Harris and Sunny Stitt, while digging into some DJ Logic or the Meters.

Bowers has been involved in some very cool projects, working with Big Daddy Kane, Connie Prince and the Keystones, or this older so-cal-based outfit, the GreasyBeats. So I'm stoked to see him pushing ahead with OREGON. Check 'em out this weekend!

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