Bill Ortiz – Highest Wish

Our good friend Bill Ortiz just announced his latest full-release CD, Highest Wish is available for pre-order. If you act now you can get a limited edition signed copy by Bill Ortiz for $15. Pre-orders will be shipping on or about August 15th.

There is also a digital album pre-order option for $9.99. Pre-order of Highest Wish including immediate download of 1 track in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC, or other formats. A link to the complete album will be emailed to you the moment it’s released. You can pre-order this option here.

Visit the Buy/Share Link on Bill’s Highest Wish page here. You can also get an advanced preview of Highest Wish feat. Zumbi of Zion I (Phoenix Black Remix) on that page. It’s tight, check it out.

Or if you’d like click on Bill’ s widget on the right hand side of this blog 😉

Highest Wish officially drops on September 4th.

Highest Wish cover art

I will be writing a review about Highest Wish for Bill on this blog soon.  My wife and I look forward to catching up with Mr. Ortiz at the Santana East Coast shows with the Allman Brothers Band coming up later this month.

Bill Ortiz is the first artist I did an extensive interview for on this music blog in 2009. It was conducted as a companion piece for his first recording, From Where I StandWe have been collaborating ever since.

I covered Bill Ortiz’s EP release Winter In America earlier this year. Highest Wish expands greatly upon Winter in America. 

So stay tuned more to follow about Bill Ortiz and Highest Wish.

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Gil Scott-Heron Collaboration

I love the collaboration that is taking place for the spirit and consciousness for Gil Scott-Heron. I wrote about Bill Ortiz’s CD Winter in America on Friday 1/13/12 (see Related Articles). I have discovered more information from special collaborators I wish to share with you.

Gil Scott-Heron will be honored at the 2012 Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. You can learn more here at this micro-site established by his son, Rumal Rackley, his family and the Gil Scott-Heron estate.

I am energized to connect once with the spirit of  urban poet Gil Scott-Heron through the online Web site and the vibrant pages of  his new book, The Last Holiday: A Memoir

I applaud the efforts of Tim Mohr in his editorial capacity for this volume. The book lives and breathes Gil Scott-Heron. Thank you Tim for the collaborative respect you evidence throughout the book.

The book cover displayed below is the edition published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd. Canongate has a long history in earnest with Gil Scott-Heron. I encourage you to visit the Gil Scott-Heron Canongate TV Book Channel to view a video interview and gain more insight into the artist’s spirit.

Oscar Wilson’s dust jacket illustration art is richly compelling. Oscar’s vivid portfolio is published on Debut Art here.

Illustration by Oscar Wilson - Debut Art

Bill Ortiz, Winter In America, A Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Gil Scott-Heron is our greatest urban poet. His words take us beneath the veneer of society where subsistence  merges to form a greater understanding. It is Winter in America, 2012.

Bill Ortiz‘s EP recording Winter In America is a heroic attempt that helps us to avoid despair. The music and the message push us safely back from the precipice of the winter of our discontent.

The opening track  is an ingenious remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Winter In America”. It commences with Bill Ortiz’s horn compelling us to take heed and listen. The track is gutsy and edgy. It crystallizes our attention on what is really going on in the streets across America.

“Winter In America” smartly acknowledges the Godfather of Hip-Hop, Gil Scott-Heron with lead vocalist Tony Lindsay (Santana) trading off lyrics with “The Grouch” on vocals and rap.

Well they say it’s a cold world

But we got a cold play my man

Rest in Peace, Gil Scott

Without you the revolution would not

What makes this EP even more full circle is the track, “I Still Believe”, a Phoenix Black remix with the eloquent spoken word voice of Linda Tillery and “Zumbi” from Zion I accenting with spoken word/rap. “I Still Believe” contains excerpts from Rev. Martin Luther King’s Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo.

The co-operation of Gil Scott-Heron’s revolutionary spirit lives on in his recently published posthumous memoir, “A Last Holiday“. There is a chapter in the book which details the tour that Stevie Wonder and Gil Scott-Heron were on to together where they lobbied for a national holiday for the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gil Scott-Heron draws the correlation between the assassination of John Lennon and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. two great men of peace struck down by violence. As I write this review we are on the edge of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s  birthday and U.S. federal holiday. It just so happens that the Winter in America EP drops on Martin Luther King Day, January 16th, 2012 direct to fans.

Bill Ortiz states the purpose of this recording best when he says, “I try to bring all these elements of who I am musically into one voice.” You’ve done all that and more Bill with your fine achievement, Winter In America.

Winter In America
Bill Ortiz
Released: January 16, 2012
Label: Left Angle Records

Produced By Ali Zandinejad aka Phoenix Black, Bill Ortiz and Steve Heithecker

Track Listing:

1. Winter In America
2. I Still Believe (Remix)
3. Word Play (Remix)
4. I Still Believe (Instrumental)
5. Winter In America (Radio Edit)

Gil Scott-Heron, Winter in America

Mourning the late, great Gil Scott-Heron this morning, adding my Sunday prayers to the blessing of the ascension of his soul.

Gil Scott-Heron was insightful and visionary. He saw the world through a very introspective lens he admirably shared with us through the vision of his poetry and music. I especially loved his collaborative efforts with Brian Jackson. They were very in tune with the ecology. When I was a weekend disk jockey at Fairfield University on WVOF-FM 1974-1975 I played the Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson recording Winter In America often on my show. I leaned heavily on “H²Ogate Blues”, as I was very anti-Nixon as a liberal Democrat who worked on the McGovern campaign.

WinterInAmerica_digipack_outside.jpg

When Gil Scott-Heron re-released Winter In Americain 1998  it contained four bonus tracks, three of which were live recordings. Posted out of deep respect for our environmental poet is “Winter In America“, recorded live at the Wax Museum in 1982.

It has been a season collectively of frozen aspirations, frozen hopes – Gil Scott Heron, Winter in America

Peace Go With You, Brother.

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