Picks and Pans Review: Secrets
The black composer, poet (Small Talk at 125th and Lenox) and novelist (The Nigger Factory) has produced another angry, robust collection of song-poems, this time exploring injustice, drug addiction and revolution. The jazz isn’t neglected either, thanks to longtime collaborator Brian Jackson on keyboards and flute and the strong Afro rhythms of the Midnight Band (which includes some power drumming by disco-oriented Harvey Mason). Scott-Heron’s own baritone voice creates some of the appeal of the classic storyteller. His basic message still lies in the pulsating Third World Revolution (“The world is slowly rearranging/Can’t nobody stop us now”), but he may, at 29, be mellowing. One track is called Better Days Ahead.