It's Your World

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It's Your World
It's Your World cover.jpg
Studio album / Live album by
ReleasedNovember 1976
RecordedJuly 1–4, 1976
StudioPaul's Mall
(Boston, Massachusetts)
Electric Lady Studios
(New York, New York)
American Star Studios
(Merrifield, Virginia)
GenreSoul, jazz-funk, funk, jazz, spoken word
LabelArista
AL-5001
ProducerPerpis-Fall Music, Inc.
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson chronology
From South Africa to South Carolina
(1975)
It's Your World
(1976)
Bridges
(1977)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Boston Herald4/4 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[3]
Sounds4/5 stars[4]
Virgin Encyclopedia4/5 stars[5]

It's Your World is a studio album by American vocalist Gil Scott-Heron and keyboardist Brian Jackson, released in November 1976 by Arista Records.[6] Recording sessions for the album took place in studio and live in July 1976 at Paul's Mall in Boston, Massachusetts, Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and American Star Studios in Merrifield, Virginia.[7] Scott-Heron and Jackson recorded the album with the former's backing ensemble, The Midnight Band. It's Your World was originally released on vinyl and was later re-released in 2000 on compact disc by Scott-Heron's Rumal-Gia label.

Critical reception[edit]

In a contemporary review, Mick Brown of Sounds gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and stated "Gil Scott-Heron takes another step in carving out his singular niche as jazz musician/rhetorician extraordinaire – number one in a field of one".[4] Lawrence Journal-World writer Marshall Fine commended the "fluid aggregation of musicians" and praised the album's "integrity, intelligence and an involving musical style that belies the often-bitter nature of their lyrics".[8] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said, "If anything proves how serious Scott-Heron has become, it's the infectious groove running through all four sides of this concert album".[3]

In a retrospective review, Maurice Bottomley of PopMatters complimented the album's incorporation of "ballads, poetry, jazz solos, Latin breaks and a hip funkiness", stating "It is raw, passionate and powerful, and at all times the rhythmic pulse and the solo explorations compliment the lyrical wizardry".[9] Bottomley viewed that It's Your World features Scott-Heron, Jackson, and backing ensemble The Midnight Band "at their collective peak" and wrote that it "functions both as a document of a particular historical moment and as a fresh musical experience today".[9] U.S. News & World Report hailed it a "masterpiece", complimenting its "mellow funk" and "heartbreaking sonic portraits [...] seething with indignation and sorrow".[10] Boston Herald writer Brian Coleman perceived "an upbeat and compassionate side" to Scott-Heron on the album and cited it as "arguably Scott-Heron's most fully realized work, tempering his early-70s anger with soulful wisdom and uplifting words".[2] Allmusic writer Hal Horowitz called the album "a moving listening experience" and commended its themes with respect to "its Centennial-centric time frame", writing that it "loses little of its impact... [T]hese tunes have lost none of their lyrical edge or incisiveness throughout the years".[1] Horowitz cited it as "one of Gil Scott-Heron's best albums as well as a compelling musical time capsule ... proof of the artist's musical and lyrical acuity".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side A (Just Before Sundown)
  1. "It's Your World" (Lyrics and Music: Brian Jackson) (3:52)
  2. "Possum Slim" (Lyrics and Music: Gil Scott-Heron) (6:00)
  3. "New York City" (Lyrics and Music: Gil Scott-Heron) (4:45)
Side B (Nightfall)
  1. "17th Street" (Lyrics: Gil Scott-Heron, Music: Adenola (Eddie Knowles), Bilal Sunni-Ali, Brian Jackson) (5:45)
  2. "Tomorrow's Trane" (Lyrics: Gil Scott-Heron, Music: Alice Coltrane) (7:20)
  3. "Must Be Something" (Lyrics: Gil Scott-Heron, Music: Brian Jackson, Bob Adams, Danny Bowens) (5:20)
Side C (Late Evening)
  1. "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" (Lyrics and Music: Gil Scott-Heron) (12:10)
  2. "Bicentennial Blues" (Words: Gil Scott-Heron) (8:40)
Side D (Midnight and Morning)
  1. "The Bottle" (Lyrics and Music: Gil Scott-Heron) (13:30)
  2. "Sharing" (Lyrics: Gil Scott-Heron, Music: Brian Jackson) (5:55)

Personnel[edit]

  • Gil Scott-Heron – Vocals, Electric Piano
  • Brian Jackson – Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Flute, Vocals
  • Danny Bowens – Electric Bass, Vocals
  • Victor Brown – Vocals, (solo on "Sharing")
  • Bilal Sunni Ali – Tenor Saxophone, Flute
  • Barnett Williams – Congas, (solo on "The Bottle"), Percussion
  • Tony Duncanson – Congas, Bongos, Timbales (solo on "The Bottle")
  • Reggie Brisbane – Drums (traps), Percussion
  • Delbert Taylor – Trumpet
  • Malcolm Cecil – Remastering

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Horowitz, Hal (August 1, 2003). Review: It's Your World. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  2. ^ a b Coleman, Brian (February 18, 2001). "Review: It's Your World". Boston Herald: 68–69.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ a b Brown, Mick (November 13, 1976). "Review: It's Your World". Sounds. Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin. "Review: Winter in America". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
  6. ^ Discogs: It's Your World. Discogs. Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  7. ^ Discogs: It's Your World (1994 CD). Discogs. Retrieved on 2008-09-12.
  8. ^ Fine, Marshall (November 20, 1976). "Review: It's Your World". Lawrence Journal-World: 5.
  9. ^ a b Bottomley, Maurice (January 2001). Review: It's Your World. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2010-10-12.
  10. ^ Columnist (2001). "Review: It's Your World". U.S. News & World Report: 62.

External links[edit]