A return to greatness for the legendary Tribe Records scene in Detroit – an underground movement that gave us some spiritual jazz classics in the 70s – then kept on making wonderful music at an even more underground level as the years went on! This set is a collection of work from three rare recordings issued during that time – all on CD only, and representing a maybe even more obscure side of this legacy than the Tribe albums of the 70s! First up is trombonist Phil Ranelin
– heading up a group that includes Wendell Harrison
on tenor and Marcus Belgrave on trumpet – two key Tribe partners from the early years – really stretching out on the titles "He The One We All Knew" and "Freddie's Groove", both recorded in 1990. Next is material from a 1995 performance led by pianist Harold McKinney – a set that's got an incredible depth of imagination and soul, almost as much as Harold McKinney's work of years back! The group is a wonderfully hip one – with former Tribe artists Wendell Harrison
on tenor and clarinet and Marcus Belgrave on trumpet – plus additional players who include Kiane Zawadi on trombone, Reggie Workman on bass, Francisco Mora on percussion, and Jimmy Owens on trumpet. There's a bit of vocals, but never that much – and most tracks are long and open – freely exploratory, but never too far out or avant-styled – just soulful and spiritual, in the true Tribe Records tradition! Titles include "Wide & Blue", "The Slave Ship Enterprise", "Juba", "Libra Ahora", and "Conjure Man". Last is a set of tracks recorded in 2014 by keyboardist Pamela Wise – a record that really carries forward the Tribe Records spirit from the 70s! The overall approach is a bit more contemporary, but the set's still got all the best feel of a classic indie album from the underground – played and penned by Wise in close collaboration with reedman Wendell Harrison
, a frequent partner of Pamela's on a variety of projects, and one of the driving forces of Tribe back in the day! Wise plays both acoustic and electric keyboards, and sometimes sings just slightly – although most of the album is instrumental – and in addition to Harrison
's work on tenor and bass clarinet, the album features trumpet, guitar, and lots of percussion. Titles include "Ode To Black Mothers", "Hometown", and "Marcus Garvey".