Bowed brass is one of the established styles of playing in improv music. It gives out completely different overtones than when you hit it. Such a gesture is rather unusual in fusion jazz. In the jazz classic »Vibes From the Tribe« by trombonist Phil Ranelin from 76, a scraping cymbal sound is the first thing you can hear. Neither does the rest of the prelude-like title track that kicks off the album have much to do with the funk drive either. It has more of a swampy groove that makes you think of mangroves and other extremely humid places. Well, Detroit, where Phil Ranelin was working at the time, has lots of water around it. Nevertheless, »Sounds from the Village« which follows with its higher creak density has more of what you would classify in a well-biased manner as »urban jazz« or similar. And if that wasn’t enough, »Wife« takes a detour into balladic soul jazz, but with such a wonderfully twisted melody that, firstly, it gives you nothing to moan about and, secondly, you get the impression that someone composed for vocals on the piano without paying too much attention to its traditions. Versatility with so many distinctions they create a coherence in themselves is one of the merits of this disc, which is probably one reason why, after the first re-release by the very commendable label Hefty in 2001, the current version of Now-Again is likely to be the fourth or fifth re-release. And we haven’t even spoken about the 18-minute shape-shifting thump »He’s the One We All New Parts 1 & 2«, which fills the flip side.
Vibes From The Tribe