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So this is a kind of historical document -- but it also delivers some fiery jazz and funk emblematic of its period (flutes were big), a time when music was a political expression.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

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

The curious thing about the career of Denmark's acclaimed jazz trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg is that after 25-years as a professional -- and at the top of his game -- he came to wide international... > Read more

The Gary Burton Quintet: Dreams So Real (ECM/Ode)

The Gary Burton Quintet: Dreams So Real (ECM/Ode)

Another in the on-going series of mid-price reissue of ECM albums from the vaults, this recording of material by Carla Bley comes from 1976, and vibes player Burton with a band of luminaries who... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Ryan Adams, Gold and Demolition (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Ryan Adams, Gold and Demolition (Universal)

With a new album by Ryan Adams due in a month (Ashes and Fire) some might wonder why this guy holds such a powerful place in many people's affections. After all he -- Prince-like -- became so... > Read more

GUEST WRITER MITCH MYERS pays tribute to bands that weren't The Band

GUEST WRITER MITCH MYERS pays tribute to bands that weren't The Band

As music lovers around the world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Band’s landmark Music From Big Pink debut, MAGNET’s Mitch Myers digs a little deeper to introduce... > Read more