Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson and the Midnight Band

  • The First Minute of a New Day [Arista, 1975] B

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The First Minute of a New Day [Arista, 1975]
The improvement in this poet-turned-musician suggests that white singer-songwriters could benefit from commitment to a musically sophisticated culture. He's got it, and he flaunts it. The singing will get stronger, and maybe someday every lyric will compare with the inspiring, despondent "Winter in America." In the meantime, the free-jazz-gone-populist band generates so much rhythmic energy that it carries over the weak spots. One heartfelt suggestion: no more long poetry reading, at least on record. I laughed at "Pardon Our Analysis" the first time, but now I find myself avoiding side one. B