by W. Kim Heron
One of his projects of the last couple of years has been reuniting the surviving members of the cutting-edge Detroit jazz collective Tribe from the 1970s. The group has acquired a serious underground rep in recent years with reissues on foreign labels, songs being sampled by DJs and producers, etc. Back in 2002 Ropeadope convened a multi-generation cast of Detroit performers in a project that evolved into something of an homage to Tribe. With heavy production involvement from Craig, it was released as The Detroit Experiment in 2003.
We just got news that the new Craig-helms-Rebirth disc is to be called Tribe Rebirth and released on the Disco Graph label out of Paris. (We're still not clear on when.*) We also got a link to a video of a summer concert of Craig plus Tribe in Paris. We do note that the video labeling is somewhat off. The horn line features surviving Tribe members Marcus Belgrave (trumpet), Wendell Harrison (saxophone) and Phil Ranelin (trombone), plus Craig and Kelvin Sholar on keys, with Doug Hammond (a sort of Tribal fellow traveler from the old days) joining in on thumb piano and drums part way through. “Without these guys
there would be no techno music,” Craig proclaims near the end of the performance.
*Update: We're told the disc drops on Nov. 16, but is already available on iTunes.