Gil Scott-Heron, Midníght Band "The First Minute ofa New Dáy" Arista, A4030 "t ismid-Winter in America; a man-made scason ofshattered dreams and shocked citizem, fumbling and frustrated beneaththe crush of greedof corpora te monsters and economie manipulators gone wild. There are bom bitter winds bom inknowiedge of secret plans hatchcd by Western Money Men that backfired and grew out of control, to eat it'sown... " ■ ■from the liner notes Three cheers for Cïive Davis and Arista för giving Gül Scott-Heron the chance he deserves. In these days of ever-tightening commercial strangulation, it's increasingly rare for an artist of Scott-Heron's caliber to break through into the promoted pop rhainstream and reach a mass audience. Th is is particularly so due to the unabáshedly political content and purpose of Heron's work.The protest song, the extended political' monologue, poignant contemporary commentary-these elements are npt nearly ás present in popular music as they were éspecially in the late 60"s. But apparently Clive has decided that politica! content and commercial success can be synthesized into one happy medium, and the result is "The First Minute Of. A.New Day " a record definitely worth buying, in our estimation. You may remember Gill Scptt-Heron frorri his piece 'The Revoiution Wil! Not Be Televised," delivered mainly as a spoken series of poetic verses. On "Midnight Band" Scott Heron again uses this technique, but shows off his singing voice as well. The one extended spokep commentary, "Pardon Our Analysis" is a tightly constructed set of impressions concerning Gerald Ford's or as Gil refers to him "Oatmeal ManY' pardoning of Richard Nixon. "San Quentin, not San Clemente! They cali it due process and some people are overdue." It's a very effective rap, expressing a point of view that is no longer confined to a small circle of radicáis. . The musical cuts are mostly very soothing in sound, definitely not funkadelic, sq be forewarned. Scott-Heron's voice comes through resonant, full and pleasing, singing songs with titles like "Liberation Song," "Guerrilla" and "There Ain't No Such Thing as Superman." The lyrics are definitely the thing, but along with them the backup band, featuring Brian Jackson on piano and additional vocals, deliver very Üstenabte medium raBge jazz music-. Some people will criticize this record for vagueness, for mouthing words like tion and freedom. without offering any concrete plan for action. Others will question Scott-Héron's sincerify andaccuse him of cashing in on revolutionary politica! fervor. But what. stands out ís that this man has something relevant to say, and thé fact that he is now ab)e, thanks to Arista, to say it to millions of people rnake the release of this album an exciting musical event, starkh emerging frpm the run of the mili mindlessness in pop rnusic today .