Marcus Belgrave - Gemini II
Vinyl, LP, Album
Record VG VG+ has marks ( listen)
Cover VG has 2 inches writing corner damage and split on 3 sides and 6 inches 4th side
Soul-Jazz, Post Bop, Fusion
A1 Space Odyssey
A2 Glue Fingers (Part I)
A3 Glue Fingers (Part II)
B1 Gemini II
B2 Marcia's Opal
B3 Odom's Cave
Bongos– Lorenzo Brown
Drums, Percussion [Misc.]– Billy Turner
Drums, Saw [Musical]– Roy Brooks
Electric Bass– Ed Pickens
Electric Piano– Harold McKinney
Engineer– Bob Meloche
Synthesizer [Mini Moog]– Daryl Dybka
Tenor Saxophone, Percussion [Misc.]– Wendell Harrison
Trombone, Percussion [Misc.]– Phillip Ranelin
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Percussion [Misc.], Producer, Composed By– Marcus Belgrave
Recorded at Pioneer Recording Studio, Inc. Produced by Marcus Belgrave, 8407 Gratiot, Detroit, Michigan.
A1 is misspelled on label as "Space Oddessy".
Credit on labels: "Gemini II Featuring Marcus Belgrave"
1971, in Detroit, trombonist Phil Ranelin and saxophonist Wendell Harrison started a band, a recording company, and a magazine, and called them the Tribe. This legendary political, social, and aesthetic collective also included key members like drummer Doug Hammond, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Pianist Harold McKinney plus musicians like Band The Mixed Bag
Marcus Belgrave first came to musical recognition at the age of eighteen when he took to the bandstand as part of the Ray Charles group. Four decades on and several generations later, Belgrave's contributions and collaborations read like a compendium to the best of jazz recordings. As prolific as many of the musicians around at the time, Belgrave features heavily as a sideman on countless jazz discs and recorded sporadic sessions which resulted in work released on some of the more popular Motown discs, notably `Dancing In The Street' and `My Girl'. Other musicians he has worked with include Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, Tony Bennett and jive talking satanist, Sammy Davis Jr. Such is the versatility of Belgrave's music, it's no surprise to learn that he's played avant garde, blues, traditional and is currently engaged in experimenting with electronic based music (in a similar way to Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden). He has worked in recent years with Prefuse 73 and Kirk Degiorgio and also features on Carl Craig's `The Detroit Experiment' album.
The sound of `Gemini' is laced with groove heavy rubber funk and celestial ambience which is typical of many jazz records made between the late 60s and early 70s. The band is composed of many of the Detroit `Tribe' label musicians and as a result and identification of, the playing is very loose, soulful and focused. The opening track `Space Odyssey' begins with the beautiful Fender Rhodes sound from Harold McKinney, accompanied by Daryl Dybka playing mini Moog patterns. Those who are familiar with the Beta Band track `Inner Meet Me' would recognise where the spaced out samples originate from by hearing `Space Odyssey'. The space sauce created gives way to a tight funk beat and a killer bass line. After a few bars of the bass and drums setting up the rhythm, the Moog enters proceedings with a theremin voice bouncing between the beats before the powerful brass ensemble enter the sound. The band sound superb hereon in full flow. The long flowing groove of `Space Odyssey' is reverb heavy and often develops into free form sections reminiscent of the sound of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The brass solos are bright and the sound underneath is haunting.
`Glue Fingers (Parts 1 and 2)' features a heavy swing rhythm with the three brass players sounding like they're on a scorching creative path. Harrison's loop playing at the beginning of `Glue Fingers Part 2' adds a special highlight to the sound. A lot of soloing and improvisation occurs in these tracks but they never lose the clarity and precision. Belgrave's trumpet is again piled with reverb which results in it sounding above the mix of the other instruments. The combined effect of these two tracks is a very rewarding listening experience.
Both `Marcia's Opal' and `Odom's Cave' have a different feel to the previous tracks. They are more evocative and have a stillness about them similar to much of Herbie Hancock's early 70s recordings. Both tracks feature the full ensemble but a looser and less knitted structure of sound is created. `Odom's Cave' is a magnificent track which closes the album.
Marcus Belgrave, Gemini, born June 12, 1936, in Chester, Pennsylvania is indeed a person born under the sign possessing a number of outstanding attributes such as great imaginative ability, a natural teacher and someone with the ability to communicate beautifully. The collective impact of Belgrave's mind, music and vision is felt across the spectrum of music for which he has become rightfully recognised in recent years.
There is a quote on the back of the original album sleeve from the late multi-reedist, Albert Ayler, which sums up this record.... "Music is the healing force of the universe."
In spring 2007, internationally respected innovative Detroit based producer Carl Craig re-assembled the remaining core living original members of the Tribe collective all still heavily active nationally and internationally and still very much in contact with other - Wendell Harrison (still living and working in Detroit), Phil Ranelin (now living and working in Los Angeles), Marcus Belgrave (still living in Detroit) and Doug Hammond (now living in Germany). In Craig’s newly refined Detroit Studio a brand new collective album started to take shape. The record features classic Tribe material including a brand new arrangements of the Tribe classics “Vibes from The Tribe,” and "Glue Fingers" as well as new compositions written especially for the record.