Wendell Harrison Tribe - Get Up Off Your Knees (2LP)
ORDER LIMITED TO ONE ITEM PER CUSTOMER
Wendell Harrison (saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Louis M. Jones III (drums), Trunino Lowe (trumpet), Jacob Schwantz (guitar), Miche Braden (vocals)
All songs composed and arranged by Wendell Harrison except for :
- Revolution poetry by Mbiyu Chui (William K Moore) & music by Pamela Samiha Wise
- Educators poetry by Mbiyu Chui (William K Moore) & music by Wendell Harrison
- Siera & Samoulen Khale Yi composed by Pathe Jassi
2 LPs, Gatefold sleeve
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : Pallas
Label : Pure Pleasure
Original Label : TRIBE Records
Recorded at Tempermill Studios and Wenha Studios in Detroit, MI
Produced by Wendell Harrison
Re-mastering by Cicely Baston at Alchemy/Air Mastering, London
Originally released in April 2021 on CD
Reissued on vinyl on October 2021
Side A :
3.Woo In Tribute (Tribute to Kresge Emminent Artist Marie Woo)
Side B :
2.First Love 3.Siera
Side C :
2. Saga Of A Carrot
Side D :
“Wendell Harrison’s 50 year career as a jazz musician is very unique. One of the stalwarts of the Detroit music scene, he explored various musical styles. More importantly, he was involved in musical education and was renowned for mentoring younger players. Pure Pleasure Records has released a 180-gram double vinyl of the latest configuration of Wendell Harrison Tribe. This current lineup consists of up and coming jazz players with a penchant for soul, funk, spoken word and socially aware themes. Side A opens with rich textures and smoothness on “Turn Around”. With a hypnotic funk beat, Harrison delivers a soulful, melodic lead. Classic rhythm backing includes guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. Jacob Schwartz delivers a nimble guitar solo before rejoining the band to anchor Harrison’s shimmering tenor. With a tight percussion (Louis Jones) and spoken word (Rev. Mbyu Chi), the aspirational poetic message of “Educators” is potent and resonates with integrity. There are many global influences and motifs that permeate these arrangements. After an atmospheric intro (including a gong), a waltz-time breezy jam ensues that features Steve Woods on flute and Harrison on clarinet. Louis Resto adds a swelling grandiosity with his airy chords. A deliberate subtle free jazz ending is a nice touch. Exotic musical translation drives “Woo In Tribute”. Steve Woods’ breezy flute riffs add texture, while Harrison counters on alto clarinet. The 3/4 time signature is magnetic.
In a distinct change of pace, the title track resonates with Latin-infused percussive charm. Vocalist Pathe Jassi lends her alto voice to the message of self worth. Trumpet accents offer emphasis and Harrison’s passion can be felt on saxophone. “First Love” begins with an airy presentation, but turns into a driving fusion jam (including a jagged electric guitar) with bluesy resonance. Reeds and horns provide muscle to the larger ensemble. Each cut has its own musical identity. The swaying rhythmic context of “Siera” invokes a township vibe and joyful expression. A slow groove rearrangement of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televisied” captures the acerbic poetic recital of the original with modern references. Festive tempos abound, especially on “Saga Of A Carrot”. The structure has big band dynamics and showcases Harrison wailing and exchanging with his band mates. Switching to medium swing, “What’s Up” is finger-snapping cool with rich charts. Schwartz executes another nimble solo against the “bandstand” before turning it over to Resto for an electrifying turn. A certain highlight of Get Up Off Your Knees is the relaxed nearly contemporary aesthetics of “Wandering Thoughts”. It displays cohesive rhythm patterns, blended sound and punctuated tempo breaks. There are outstanding solos from trumpeter Trunino Laws, Woods and Harrison.
Wendell Harrison is a jazz legend whose musical vision is still relevant. Pure Pleasure Records’ 180-gram pressing is superior with an evenly balanced sound mix.” Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition, December 2021
"Saxophonist Wendell Harrison has lived by a standard philosophy for his 50-plus-year career: One must have complete self-autonomy. Both his music and business dealings reflect this. Besides being a legend on the Detroit jazz scene and mentoring up-and-coming musicians through his non-profit organization Rebirth Inc., he co-founded the Tribe Records label in the 1970s, which produced a magazine and many classic albums.
Harrison is continuing Tribe's legacy - this time around with a group of rising jazz musicians from the Motor City such as drummer Louis M. Jones III, trumpeter Trunino Lowe, and guitarist Jacob Schwantz - on his new recording Get Up Off Your Knees.
There's a lot to digest here because the original compositions encompass R&B, soul, spoken word, and 'world' music, all seen through the lens of jazz. Harrison tends to weave elements of African music into many of his compositions. On 'Siera' and 'Samoulén Khalé Yi,' both written by vocalist and bassist Pathe Jassi, he pays tribute to Guinea-Bissau and Senegalese culture. 'Educators' also has African nuances in its hardcore drumming and Harrison's sublime blowing on bass clarinet and clarinet.
Any discriminating jazz listener will be consumed by Get Up Off Your Knees, but it seems Harrison's primary purpose for making this album is to encourage the current generation to put education first and build social awareness. On the title track, vocalist Miche Braden pushes the self-determination angle, which is again highlighted on 'Revolution,' a reimagined take on Gil Scott-Heron's 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' delivered with an adherence to contemporary events by the poet Rev. Mbiyu Chui." - Veronica Johnson from Jazz Times.
Audiophile Audition : 4.5 / 5