Amazon.com Widgets

Tribe: Message From The Tribe: An Anthology of Tribe Records 1972-1976 (2010)

By Published: | 4,359 views
Tribe: Message From The Tribe: An Anthology of Tribe Records 1972-1976 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

If the 1960s was the decade of sexual liberation and psycho-pharmaceuticals, the 1970s was the decade of self-empowerment and community activism, and nowhere was this more true than in black America. Musicians were among the vanguard of the activists, forming collectives to increase their leverage within the "entertainment" industry and, through education projects, to strengthen their links with the communities in which they operated. The first, and still the best known, of these collectives was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which was actually founded in 1965, but whose community work was ramped up significantly around 1970. Another was the Strata-East Records label founded by pianist Stanley Cowell
Stanley Cowell
Stanley Cowell
b.1941
piano
and trumpeter Charles Tolliver
Charles Tolliver
Charles Tolliver
b.1942
trumpet
in New York in 1971.

Less well remembered—and until now, barely documented—was the Tribe collective, which ran a record label and published a quarterly black awareness magazine, and was active in Detroit from 1972-77. Among its organizers were trombonist Phil Ranelin
Phil Ranelin
Phil Ranelin
b.1939
trombone
, saxophonist Wendell Richardson and trumpeter Marcus Belgrave
Marcus Belgrave
Marcus Belgrave
b.1936
trumpet
.

British label Soul Jazz Records' lovingly put together package Message From The Tribe: An Anthology Of Tribe Records 1972-1976 includes a one-hour compilation of Tribe recordings, a 60-page booklet, most of it consisting of articles from Tribe magazine, and a selection of postcards featuring the magazine's front covers.

Between them, the Tribe musicians played with, on the one hand, drummer Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
, saxophonist Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, keyboards spaceman Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra
1914 - 1993
keyboard
, guitarist Grant Green
Grant Green
Grant Green
1935 - 1979
guitar
and pianist McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
, and on the other, with singers Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
b.1950
keyboard
, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations; before Motown Records' relocation from Detroit to Los Angeles in 1972, the musicians had supplemented their jazz earnings with session work at Motown. These experiences—and an enthusiasm for the electric grooves being contemporaneously championed by pianist Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
—all come together on the recordings included here. P-Funk originator George Clinton may have been the man who coined the expression "free your ass and your mind will follow," but Tribe subscribed to the same aesthetic, albeit with a lot more jazz—some of it distinctly "out"—thrown into the mix.

The music is vibrant and timeless, but to read through the articles from Tribe is, in 2010, to step back 35 years. These were angry times, and it's no surprise to come across a review of a TV documentary which concludes: "Any doubts that the viewing audience may have had about the inherent bestiality of the white man were laid to rest with this telecast." More surprising is the inclusion of a sympathetic profile of the Detroit-based civil rights activist Father William T. Cunningham, "a Caucasian working towards the elimination of racism, discrimination and bigotry."

An important addition to the black music archive, Message From The Tribe walks the talk.

Track Listing: David Durrah: Space 2; Phil Ranelin & Tribe: Vibes from the Tribe; Phil Ranelin & Tribe: Sounds from the Village; Doug Hammond: Moves; Tribe: Beneficent; Tribe: What We Need; Marcus Belgrave: Space Odyssey; Phil Ranelin & Tribe: For the Children; The Mixed Bag: La Margarita; Doug Hammond: Wake Up Brothers; Wendell Harrison & Tribe: Tons and Tons of B.S.; Tribe: Farewell to the Welfare.

Personnel: Marcus Belgrave: trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, miscellaneous instruments (2, 3, 5-7); Charles Moore: trumpet, flugelhorn, miscellaneous instruments (5, 6); Phil Ranelin: trombone, vocal, percussion, miscellaneous instruments (2, 3, 5-8, 11); Kareem Harris: tuba (11); Ralph Jones: soprano saxophone (11); Otis Harris (or Harrison): alto saxophone (4, 10); Wendell Harrison: tenor saxophone, flute, miscellaneous instruments (2, 3, 5-8, 11); Aaron Neal: bass clarinet, miscellaneous instruments (5); Larry Nozero: reeds, flute, cuica (9); Buddy Budson: electric piano (3); Kenny Cox: electric piano (2); Geoff Dunsun: keyboards (9); David Durrah: Moog & Arp synthesizer, piano, Fender Rhodes (1, 4, 10); Daryl Dybka: mini Moog synthesizer (7); Charles Eubanks: electric piano, miscellaneous instruments (6); Harold McKinney: piano, electric piano (7, 8, 11); Keith Vreeland: electric piano, miscellaneous instruments (5); Ralph Armstrong: electric guitar, bass (3, 8); Jerry Glassel: guitar (9); Charles Burnhorn: violin (4, 10); Travis Mickeel: violin (4, 10); Charles Metcalf: bass violin, electric bass (4, 10); Will Austin: electric bass, acoustic bass (6, 11); Ron Brookes: bass (9); Ron English: electric bass (2); Reggie (Sho Be Doo) Fields: acoustic bass (5); Lopez Leon: electric bass (2, 3); Ed Pickens: electric bass (7); Frederick Boon: percussion (4, 10); Roy Brooks: percussion, miscellaneous instruments (7); Lorenzo Brown: bongos (7); Ike Daney: drums, miscellaneous instruments (6); George Davidson: drums (2, 3, 8, 11); Barbara Huby (or Hubie): congas, percussion (3, 8, 11); Dave Koether: percussion (9); Bud Spangler: percussion (8); Dan Spencer: drums, percussion (9); Thomas (Turk) Trayler: percussion (4); Billy Turner: drums, percussion, miscellaneous instruments (5, 7, 11); Lawrence Williams: congas (11); Doug Hammond: drums, melodica & Arp synthesizer, vocals (1, 4, 10); Jeamel Lee: vocals (6).

Record Label: Soul Jazz Records


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search