Various Artists: Message from the Tribe (Universal Sound/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Doug Hammond: Wake Up Brothers
Various Artists: Message from the Tribe (Universal Sound/Southbound)

On the surface this may look like one for those with selective taste: here is a 12 track collection of inner city jazz from Tribe Records out of Detroit between '72 and '76.

The dates are important: Motown had all but gone from the city, many of the jazz musicians had been used as session players but were inspired by Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman and politicised free jazz, and the self-determination which black power politics advanced was the impetus to create their own collective, The Tribe.

The package comes with facsimiles of the covers of their pamphlet/magazine (articles on black revolution, John Coltrane, busing, Jessie Jackson, Sun Ra and so on).

So this is a kind of historical document -- but it also delivers some fiery jazz and funk emblematic of its period (flutes were big), a time when music was a political expression.

Importantly however this collection doesn't just default to jazzy funk but includes the yearning vocal track Moves by Doug Hammond, the bluesy tone poem What We Need and the nine minute Space Oddysey (sic).

Drawing from Afro-Cuban percussion, Stevie Wonder, free jazz, streetcorner funk and Sun Ra's cosmic vision, the Tribe delivered singular music which even now conjures up a specific time and place, yet sounds alarmingly fresh and innovative.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies (ECM/Ode)

Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Melodies (ECM/Ode)

By any measure this is an unusual album from French clarinettist Sclavis with guitarist Gilles Coronado and keyboard player Benjamin Moussay (who worked together previously as the Atlas Trio).... > Read more

Christian Sands: Facing Dragons (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

Christian Sands: Facing Dragons (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

Those who read the band names on albums by Gregory Porter and Christian McBride will recognise the keyboard player's name on this. Christian Sands is not on McBride's latest album New Jawn... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AN ESSAY ON THE INEVITABLE (2002): The Art of Dying

AN ESSAY ON THE INEVITABLE (2002): The Art of Dying

"Nothing in this life that I've been trying, can equal or surpass the art of dying" -- Art of Dying by George Harrison, 1970 When the late George Harrison wrote Art of Dying for... > Read more

THE MADNESS OF ADAM AND EVE; HOW SCHIZOPHRENIA SHAPED HUMANITY by DAVID HORROBIN: The rogue within

THE MADNESS OF ADAM AND EVE; HOW SCHIZOPHRENIA SHAPED HUMANITY by DAVID HORROBIN: The rogue within

The woman on the intercity bus to Seoul wasn't paying much attention to the film flickering on the television screen above the driver's head. It was a distinctly odd choice anyway: Brother Sun,... > Read more