Following Phil Ranelin’s Detroit jazz classic »Vibes From the Tribe« from 1976, Now-Again is now releasing the solo debut from Wendell Harrison, co-founder of the label and collective Tribe, at the same time as »An Evening With the Devil«, which was released three years earlier. The two musicians maintain a close working relationship, as evidenced by the two releases, ranging from playing together in their band, also called »Tribe«, to supporting each other on solo projects: just as Harrison contributes to Ranelin’s album on saxophone and flute, Phil Ranelin’s trombone can also be heard on Wendell Harrison’s record. Wendell Harrison’s spiritual jazz reconciles relaxed ensemble arrangements with brusque free jazz attacks. Where it serves the message, spoken word poetry is added, right at the beginning, for example, in the shrill and angry »Mary Had an Abortion«, which juxtaposes violence against blacks with the right to abortion – there are still far more than enough white anti-abortion activists in the USA. Wendell Harrison never strays far from the avant-garde to soul-based groove, and sometimes the distance from one bar to the next in one and the same number is enough. The album was remastered once again from the original tapes for the reissue, though its slight flaws couldn’t be completely wiped away digitally. But the perfect sound, as beautiful as it is, shouldn’t be strictly coveted anyway.
Evening With The Devil