Recorded the same year as Gil e Jorge, his brilliant collaboration with Jorge Ben, Refazenda keeps up the pace, but in a completely different way. Instead of the acoustic Brazilian folk of Gil e Jorge, Gil focuses on breezy pop. "Jeca Total," "Ê, Povo, Ê," "Tenho Sede," and the title track are dominated by flute, accordion, horns, and gentle strings. Gil is in excellent voice, whether he's delivering a driving song like "Essa é Pra Tocar No Rádio" or more intimate ballads like the last two tracks, "Lamento Sertanejo" and "Meditação." Though "Pai e Mãe" and a few other tracks are slightly reminiscent of the Gil e Jorge LP, Gil reasserts himself here as the pop star whom all of Brazil had expected him to be.
One of arranger Gil Evans's main talents was his ability to fuse diverse, unique performers into a unified ensemble. He accomplishes that on the first of two LPs taken from a pair of 1980 concerts, even if his presence is felt more than heard. Although Evans is on electric piano, he also employed two other synthesizer players (Masabumi Kikuchi and Pete Levin) in his eclectic band, which at the time included such notables as Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, altoist Arthur Blythe, trombonist George Lewis, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett and drummer Billy Cobham, among others. A lengthy "Anita's Dance" and a remake of "Gone, Gone, Gone" are the more memorable selections.
A previously unreleased live set recorded at London’s legendary Town and Country club and available for the first time on this two CD set. By the late 80s years of substance abuse had left Gil Scott-Heron rotten-toothed and out of it a lot of the time. In 1987 he missed a gig at London's Town & Country Club completely, turning up long after the venue had shut. The T&CC stuck with him though, booking him again in 1988 and hoping for the best. By then he'd gained a new manager, Freddie Cousaert, who had been responsible for turning the career of Marvin Gaye round in the early 80s, getting him off cocaine and back into the studio.