Tribes, Vibes And Scribes
512 363-2 (Phonogram Records/Talkin' Loud)
Wednesday, 1st January, 1992 (United Kingdom)
Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick
03. River In My Dreams
04. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
05. Magnetic Ocean
06. I Love What You Do For Me
07. Closer To The Feeling
08. L'Arc En Ciel De Miles
09. Need To Know
11. Tribal Vibes
Preview, buy, and download.
BBC Review *****
BBC Daryl Easlea
Loved and respected throughout the industry, Incognito are a long-running institution, headed up by guitarist/keyboardist Jean Paul 'Bluey' Maunick. Released at the height of the Talkin' Loud label's powers, this was the second release from Incognito's second incarnation. It fully marked their transition from the very 80s jazz funk to the very 90s acid jazz.
For those with longer memories, Incognito were the sophisticated group who emerged when Light Of The World splintered in the early 80s. After a decade resting, but with Maunick writing with a revived Incognito in mind, they were signed by DJ Gilles Peterson to his Talkin' Loud imprint in the early 90s.
Tribes Vibes and Scribes built on the success of 1991's Inside Life, which featured Jocelyn Brown's gargantuan reading of Ronnie Laws' classic Almost There. With American vocalist Maysa Leak now at the helm, the album is full of hook-laden, assured soul.
The lead single, a cover of Stevie Wonder's Don't You Worry About A Thing was a bold statement, squaring up to the master's Innervisions tour de force with aplomb. It earned them a UK Top 20 placing.
Tribes Vibes and Scribes is accomplished in both its playing and positive message. The dancefloor storm of opener Colibri its with scat vocals and soloing, never strays too far into indulgence; there is also the urban, orchestrated soul of Change. The jazz feel of tracks like L'Arc En Ciel De Miles saw the group's popularity in the US grow, becoming something of a staple on the burgeoning 'quiet storm' radio strand.
Tribes Vibes and Scribes is infused with is a tremendous enthusiasm and exuberance. It is this remarkable spirit that has kept the group so popular for so long and this record sounding like it was recorded only yesterday.
Tribes, Vibes, and Scribes is musically addictive *****
You can buy Incognito on blind faith, knowing they will deliver. Tribes, Vibes, and Scribes is musically addictive.
Five Stars *****
by Terrence G Marks
Five Stars *****
by Henry N
The best all-time jazz funk album ever. Hippest band ever.
Five Stars *****
by Joy Sutton
I really love this album. Very easy listening. I can listen to it for hours.
Awesome Jazz Fusion / Smooth Jazz Mix *****
by David Rieder
I love this album! I listen to it a couple time every year and am never disappointed. It has great playing on it and major funkiness! The recording quality of the album is excellent. It's not a sell out like some of the smooth jazz that has been popular in the past few years.
United Funk In Acid Jazz Dressing *****
by Andre S. Grindle "Andre' Grindle"
In many ways this could be considered Incognito's second album but it's not. It's their third;they had an aborted beginning in 1980 with Jazz Funk. But on this second release for the Talkin' Loud label they introduced vocalist Maysa Leak to the affair. With a boisterous,jazzily funky vocal instrument at her command I'm sure there were many who felt she'd have the same type of fate with Incognito as the vocalist that obviously most inspired her had with her band-that vocalist being Chaka Khan of course. But it hardly mattered anyway because what she baught to this set of songs really rounded out their sound and added extra spicy soulfullness to the afair. And just what WAS their sound anyway? Well I always enjoyed it is all I know. Basically it's the middle ground between the jazz-funk of the 70's and the 80's smooth jazz it mutated into,for better or worse. Somewhere in the middle between Roy Ayers Ubiquity,EWF and Sade was certainly just about the right kind of sound to have if you were a funk band of any sort in the early 90's. And that's how this album makes it's point.
Still keeping their instrumental oriented sound intact this includes many great grooves in the form."Colibri","River In My Dreams","I Love What You Do For Me" and "Pyramids" all really give it up;the heavy Brit-funk groove,the deeep bass lines and the general cool sensation of the melody and harmonic structure. The chanted vocals of Bluey himself on "Closer To The Feeling",along with the Joe Sample-like flavors of "L-Arc En Ciel De Miles" also have a similar impact. As do the polyrhythmic smooth grooves of "Tribal Vibes" and my own favorite "Magnetic Oceans" with it's synthesizer washes-an effect I always find a little magical. "Need To Know" gets down big time with this nice JB style guitar intro. The tracks with vocals are highlited by two numbers: "Change" is a self written funk tune where Maysa wraps her elastic,taffy-like(as in sweet,flexible AND tough) voice around a great message that is just perfect for the era. And it actually has an intelligent inner dialog too. Of course the album shines on her version of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing",a lot slicker production wise and vocally more pensive than the original but keeps the latin flavor completely intact.
Good music is good music *****
Ain't no doubt about it, this is good music. No correction; this is great music. The Cogs brought their A game on this one. It really is a standout release. Highlights are numerous, but the one that knocks me out is Maya's powerhouse delivery on I Love What You Do For Me. Man! Such emotion.....and what a voice!!! Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.