The Story of Tribe Records
Episode 1 - Tribe Records


A Message From The Tribe

In this prologue episode, A Message from the Tribe, we first hear from Marcus Moore and Wendell Harrison, who talk about the Jazz scene in Detroit, and we’ll then hear from Phil Ranelin, who backs up Wendell’s depictions of Detroit’s jazz scene at the time.

Next, we hear more from Wendell and Marcus, specifically about how working with Sun Ra opened Wendell up to the possibilities of doing everything himself, and for pushing the boundaries of his music. Then, Wendell fills out the Tribe origin story. We hear how a move back to Detroit to kick drugs spurred the creation of the label, how owning their masters was important for them as artists, which meant creating their own label, and how Motown leaving Detroit meant there were fewer opportunities for musicians in the studio in Detroit, and that pushed them even harder into making Tribe a reality, working with a tight-knit group of musicians in Detroit. He also talks about how a program guide for the collective’s concerts became a magazine, and why he thinks Tribe ultimately didn’t break through much outside of Detroit in the ‘70s.

And we end with some final thoughts from Wendell and Marcus, as Wendell discusses what it was like to hustle Tribe records live, and the label’s lasting legacy


An Evening With The Tribe

On this first episode, An Evening With the Tribe, we’ll cover the first two albums in your box, Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison’s A Message from the Tribe and Wendell’s own An Evening With the Devil.

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