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Album Review

In 2001, Detroit jazz aficionados were given the gift of the decade with the reissue of Phil Ranelin's 1974 and 1976 records The Time Is Now and Vibes From the Tribe. But Hefty records, the label responsible for the reissues, didn't stop there. Remixes collects some of the most prominent names in indie electronic music and gives them the original tapes from both of Ranelin's albums to create some of the most inventive jazz/electronic experiments since Bitches Brew. Of immediate note are the very organic, non-electronic mixes by Kirk DeGiorgio and Morgan Geist. That's not to say that the songs remain untouched, but rather they consist of less cut-up, beat-driven pastiches than one might expect on a remix disc. Still, the electronically noodled versions are extremely welcome here. Jan Jelinek lends his clicky trademark to "Sounds From the Village," as does Slicker (aka John Hughes III) on "For the Children." The Notwist's Micha Acher creates a stunning new mix for "Vibes From the Tribe," introducing some new percussion sounds into the warm saxophone skronk. And Company Flow's El-P contributes a rather moody take on "Time Is Running Out," tempering the softer sounds on the record quite nicely. He also eschews any MC-ing on the track. Overall, the Phil Ranelin Remixes project is a wonderful interpretation of some already-wonderful music.


Born: 1940 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Trombonist Phil Ranelin was one of the Detroit jazz scene's unsung heroes, releasing several excellent, politicized albums that blended post-Coltrane avant-garde jazz, post-Bitches Brew psychedelia, hard bop, funk, and African rhythms. Ranelin was born and raised in Indianapolis, and later moved to New York and then Detroit, where he started out as a session man for Motown artists like Stevie Wonder. In 1971, along with saxophonist Wendell Harrison, Ranelin co-founded a band, magazine, and record...
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Remixes, Phil Ranelin
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