Gil Scott-Heron, Derrick Hodge

27.June.2010 - New York

by Thomas Hauner

30 June 2010

Gil Scott-Heron brought his legendary brand of soul, and surprise guest, Common, to Central Park’s Summerstage Sunday.
 

Central Park’s Summerstage continued it’s NYC Revolutions series Sunday afternoon with the venerable Gil Scott-Heron.  The grandfather of neo-soul and hip-hop was avuncular and affable throughout his sit, blending his trademark prosaic preaching and lucid social commentary.  Scott-Heron just called it the blues.  (Earlier he had joked that one simply appends the suffix “ology” to what one likes to do, and, voila, you’re a consultant.  He was doing “bluesology”.)
  
Despite the wilting heat, Scott-Heron played through “Winter in America” solo on his Fender Rhodes.  Joined by his four-piece band (congas, keyboards, saxophone/flute, harmonica), “Is that Jazz?” was next, preceded by a playful introduction on the origin of the word itself.

The show climaxed when Scott-Heron introduced his friend, “brother Lonnie Rashied”, a.k.a. Common , surprising most fans enough to pick themselves up off the green astroturf.  Though conga was the band’s only beat, Common’s performances of “My Way Home” and “The People”—over the Scott-Heron compositions originally sampled by Kanye West—injected some life into the otherwise relaxing set.

Earlier in the afternoon, Derrick Hodge played an effusive open jazz set, with fitful bursts of percussion, which suited the hot, lethargic weather. And between performers, DJ Brainchild provoked a minor dance party by spinning fitting disco and soul hits, like the Blackbyrds’ “Rock Creek Park”.

Derrick Hodge

DJ Brainchild

Gil Scott-Heron

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article