Kato’s Gems #5

2Pac – Thug Life

Welcome to our now usual Monday appointment: Kato’s Gems # 5. In 1994 2Pac (R.I.P.) put together a group of trusted friends and collaborators (Big Syke, brother Mopreme, Macadoshis and Rated R) and gave birth to “Thug Life Volume 1”, the first and unfortunately only album of this formation. Here is the most conscious 2Pac, the revolutionary who wanted to change things, far from the one who will conquer the world together with Death Row Records. The topics covered are important, with a tone to denounce the difficult living conditions in the ghetto, the atmospheres at times gloomy, very soulful and quite distant from the most popular G Funk, with productions of Easy Mo Bee, Stretch, Johnny J, Big Syke and Warren G. At that point, Pac was already a leading figure in the world of rap and cinema. He had made three major records and starred in such prominent films as Poetic Justice. Big Syke confessed that when he was assassinated in 1996, he already had plans to take advantage of the huge popularity gained with Death Row and release Thug Life Volume 2 for his label, Makaveli Records. My favorite tracks are “Pour out a little liquor” and “How long will they mourn me” produced by Warren G and with an always exceptional Nate Dogg (R.I.P.)

Wes Montgomery – Movin

The second album of the day is Wes Montgomery’s “Movin ‘Along”, released in 1960. This is a fairly hidden gem in the Montgomery catalog, which is accompanied by James Clay on the flute, Victor Feldman on the piano, Sam Jones on the bass and Louis Hayes on the drums. Four standards and two originals for this gem that returns the magic of one of the greatest guitarists in the history of jazz intact.

Gentle Giant – Free Hand

Sometimes discs need a little more listening to be fully understood. With Gentle Giant’s “Free Hand” this exactly was happened to me. The first time he shot on the plate it seemed confusing, almost pretentious. Obviously I didn’t understand anything. Kerry Minnear in 1975 is at the height of his genius and pushes on the accelerator of his perfect musical machine. Time changes, incredible melodies that intertwine progressive rock, jazz, folk and soul & nbsp; in an impeccable way, with medieval echoes and the xylophone to punctuate such beauty. It isn’t surprising that the Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and the Premiata Forneria Marconi considered them masters, and were deeply influenced by them.