Title - 'Collected Works 2003-2019' [2CD]
Artist - Phil Ranelin
For those not in the know, Phil Ranelin is an American jazz and experimental music trombonist.
Ranelin was born in Indianapolis and lived in New York City before moving to Detroit in the 1960s where he played as a session musician on many Motown recordings; including with Stevie Wonder.
In 1971, he and Wendell Harrison formed a group called The Tribe, which was an avant-garde jazz ensemble devoted to black consciousness. Alongside it he co-founded Tribe Records.
He released several albums as a leader in the 1970s and continued with The Tribe project until 1978 where he followed that up by working with Freddie Hubbard.
Ranelin worked mostly locally in Detroit in the following decades and did not find widespread acceptance among jazz aficionados.
However, he eventually came to the attention of rare groove collectors who became increasingly interested in his work. As a result, Tortoise drummer John McEntire remastered some of Ranelin's older material and re-released it on Hefty Records.
A remix album (2002) soon followed, which included an appearance from Telefon Tel Aviv, and then came Inspiration (Wide Hive, 2004), Living a New Day (Wide Hive, 2009), Reminiscence (Wide Hive, 2009), and Perseverance with Henry Franklin and Big Black (Wide Hive, 2011).
Phil Ranelin - Collected 2003-2019 features songs with Pharoah Sanders, Kamasi Washington, Donald "Duck" Bailey, Henry Franklin, Big Black, Calvin Keys, Roger Glenn and many, many more.
Here in this collection of 16 years of Phil's work, his "Tribe" spiritual root continues to grow into greatness and his is assisted along on his path with a cast of some of the greatest players in this genre.
Ergo, this album encompasses 15 remastered songs, one newly released alternate version and two new compositions.
1. 'Freddie's Groove' (7:35)
2. 'Horace's Scope' (5:30)
3. 'This One's For Trane' (8:43)
4. 'Living A New Day' (6:50)
5. 'Blue Bossa' (6:14)
6. 'Metamorphosis' (7:30)
7. 'A Tear In Elmina' (5:49)
8. 'Close Encounters' (5:47)
9. 'Shades Of Dolphy' (8:34)
1. 'In Search Of The One' (8:48)
2. 'Moorish' (3:49)
3. 'Perseverance 2019 (New Alternate Version) (9:48)
4. 'Full Moon' (6:33)
5. 'Excursion To Fantasy' (8:38)
6. 'Spiritual Vibrations' (7:28)
7. 'How Do We End This Madness' (New) (7:11)
8. 'Fantasy Vibrations' (New) (6:45)
9. 'Black On The Nu' (5:51)
Here on this wondrous new 2CD collection we get some truly great jazz from trombonist extraordinaire and living legend of The Indiana Avenue Era of Jazz heavyweights, Ranelin.
Indeed, Ranelin’s love for the slide trombone was born from the almost royal tradition that the trombone holds in the aforementioned Indianapolis’ Jazz heritage: and from the slide trombone’s spiritual position within the genesis of Jazz as an indigenous American cultural treasure.
I mean, wow! Just wow! Listening to the opening cut, the powerful and funky 'Freddie's Groove' which is backed by the piano-led beauty 'Horace's Scope' and you know you're in for a right royal treat here.
I mean, no matter which track you land on, should you hit the random button (which I did on the second time around), what you get each and every time is definitive audible knowledge that the man plays the trombone with heart and inspiration within every lick!
I won't go through the entire album track by track, but suffice to say that stand out cuts for me - aside from those two - are cuts such as the delicate, late night/early morning underground smoky jazz club feel within 'Blue Bossa,' the double bass-led, free flowing jam of 'Shades Of Dolphy,' and both the rigid, yet thoughtfully playful 'Excursion To Fantasy' and, of course, the yearning of 'Spiritual Vibrations.'
Having created a musical space that is both paradoxically sparse and yet overflowing with noise, Ranelin's own personal influences are scattered majestically throughout for all to hear.
Simply put, Phil Ranelin stands on the shoulders of a long line of great trombonists who held their instruments up above the evolving trend to overlook the slide trombone as a preferred lead instrument.
As a Straight Ahead innovator, Ranelin continues to explore new realms of collaborations with younger generations, with the presentations of atypical configurations, and with complex-rhythmic and melodic-groove juxtapositions.
Official 2CD Purchase Link