|Offering: The Music Of Gil Scott–Heron & Brian Jackson|
Charenée Wade — Offering: The Music Of Gil Scott–Heron & Brian Jackson
★ Rising–star vocalist Charenée Wade interprets the revolutionary legacy of Gil Scott–Heron with this timely and commanding tribute. Knowing where we have been before is extremely important, because it gives context about what is happening now. Gil Scott–Heron makes me think about the responsibility and power of the artist to raise social consciousness. Imagine if more artists used their platforms to positively shift consciousness like he and artists of his day did. He inspires me to do my own thing, to not be afraid to say what I want to say.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, New York
Album release: June 23, 2015
Record Label: Motéma Music
01. Offering (Feat. Stefon Harris) 4:30
02. Song Of The Wind (Feat. Stefon Harris) 7:38
03. A Toast To The People 6:34
04. Home Is Where The Hatred Is (Feat. Stefon Harris) 4:30
05. Ain’t No Such Thing As Superman (Feat. Marcus Miller, Malcolm–Jamal Warner) 5:47
06. Essex Martin, Grant, Byrd & Till 8:43
07. Western Sunrise 5:11
08. The Vulture (Your Soul And Mine) 6:27
09. Peace Go With You Brother (Intro) 0:42
10. Peace Go With You Brother (Feat. Stefon Harris) 7:04
11. I Think I'll Call It Morning 4:36
℗ 2015 Motéma Music LLC
★ Produced by Grammy–nominated music industry veteran and Sirius XM personality Mark Ruffin, the recording features notable guest stars and a stellar band comprised of Brandon McCune on piano; Dave Stryker on guitar; Lonnie Plaxico on bass; and Alvester Garnett on drums. Wade’s labelmate, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, sits in on “Essex/Martin,” as does Marcus Miller on bass clarinet and actor Malcolm–Jamal Warner on spoken word. Another spoken word guest is bassist Christian McBride, who opens “Peace Go With You Brother.” The great vibes player Stefon Harris is featured on six selections. Wade’s first international release follows on the recent publication of a biography on Scott–Heron by Marcus Baram called “Gil Scott–Heron: Pieces of A Man.”
★ Soulful jazz vocalist Charenee Wade releases her interpretation of the revolutionary music of Gil Scott–Heron and Brian Jackson. On 'Offering' the Monk Competition finalist is featured alongside Lonnie Plaxico, Christian McBride, Stefon Harris, Malcolm–Jamal Warner and others on her debut album for Motéma.
By RON NETSKY
★ In his prime, Gil Scott–Heron was a truly unique artist, a rapper before rap, a hip–hopper before hip–hop. Plagued by addictions, he died at the age of 62 in 2011. Since then, there have been several tribute albums, but Charenee Wade's "Offering: The Music of Gil Scott–Heron & Brian Jackson" stands out. Instead of focusing on the best–known compositions — "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," "In The Bottle," etc. — this album showcases the more melodic side of Scott–Heron and his frequent collaborator, Brian Jackson.
★ Wade is the perfect choice for this mission. Aside from discouraging comparisons with Scott–Heron, a female singer takes the tunes to different places. And what a wonderful singer she is. (Wade is the only vocalist to place twice in the Thelonious Monk Competition). Scott–Heron and Jackson are known for politically charged lyrics, but their music also contains a provocative edge and producer Mark Ruffin lined up a superb band to exploit it: Brandon McCune, piano; Dave Stryker, guitar; Lonnie Plaxico, bass; Alvester Garnett, drums; Stefon Harris, vibes; Marcus Miller, bass clarinet; and Lakecia Benjamin, alto sax. And if you miss the raps, check out the potent spoken word by Malcolm–Jamal Warner and Christian McBride.
★ First Runner–Up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, Charenee Wade is a notable singer, composer, arranger and educator who received her degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Her accolades include Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program where she performed her original music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; being one of the talented four chosen for the Dianne Reeves Young Artist Workshop at Carnegie Hall; 1st Runner–Up in the Jazzmobile Vocal Competition; and being selected for the JAS Academy Summer Sessions, 2007–09, directed by Christian McBride.
★ Charenée is currently a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music, City College, and with the Jazzmobile Workshop program. She teaches various workshops and clinics and was an esteemed judge for the 2010 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, alongside Dr. Billy Taylor and Grady Tate. Charenee performs internationally and graces the stages of the Jazz Gallery, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy Coca Cola’s, the legendary Smalls and the Zinc Bar in NYC.
★ Had Revive been a magazine during the ’70s, then Gil Scott–Heron would have made the front page regularly. The “bluesologist” (as he liked to call himself) was melding music that had elements of soul, jazz, blues, and hip–hop before hip–hop had even existed. Famously known for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” Gil Scott–Heron revolutionized the way audiences perceived what it meant to be a vocalist by merging spoken word with soul/funk–jazz grooves.
★ Soulful jazz vocalist Charenée Wade’s clear voice and impressive technique earned her the First Runner–Up prize at the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition. Whether performing solo or with a dynamic range of jazz luminaries, Wade’s talent has brought her to many prestigious music festivals and venues world–wide. Her album “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott–Heron & Brian Jackson” offers a uniquely feminine perspective on the revolutionary music of Gil Scott–Heron.
By Brian Palmer
|Offering: The Music Of Gil Scott–Heron & Brian Jackson|