While Detroit’s legendary Tribe Records has remained one of the brightest lights of America’s 1970s jazz underground, the label has never been feted with a definitive set of reissues, and has thus remained obscure. That changed with the release of The Story of Tribe Records, a collaboration between Now-Again Records and Vinyl Me Please, containing 7 LPs. The box set was limited to 1,000 pieces and Vinyl Me Please copies quickly sold out. Rappcats is now selling some of Now-Again’s copies.
The Story of Tribe Records is told through seven landmark Spiritual Jazz albums, some remixed and remastered from the original multitrack tapes under the direction of Tribe co-founders Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison, and some lacquered directly from analog tape by Bernie Grundman. The set includes the unreleased Harrison album Farewell to the Welfare, the lost Tribe title that had sent collectors into tailspins for decades. Titles and box set details on our produced page for The Story of Tribe Records.
The box set includes an expansive booklet. Tribe historian Larry Gabriel and journalist Jeff “Chairman” Mao take us through the history of Tribe Records, in a compelling story that delves not just into the history of the label and its principals, but into the story of Black American empowerment in the latter half of the 20th Century. This deluxe magazine-style booklet also features never-before-seen archival photos and rare ephemera from Tribe’s mid-1970s heyday.