The opener by the Nebulous Jazztet, a high energy version of Jobim's "Stone Flower," sets the tone for the CD. Trombone, sax, guitar, bass, drums. Two horns and a rhythm section, you say? Not so, it's a group! The rhythm and intensity that are at the heart of Tymas's music depend on the interplay between the horns as well as on the regular rhythm instruments. Lots of fire with Mitch Butler on trombone and Stephen Riley on sax! This session also includes an up tempo take on Miles's "Seven Steps to Heaven" and two Tymas originals. "Saxsmo Goes to Woodstock" is a bopper with extended solos by Tymas, Butler and Riley while "Broken Bottles" is an intriguing now-and-then jazz waltz made for Riley's soprano.
Three tracks showcase Tymas with drums, bass guitar and "Saxsmo" Gates on alto. Gates' big emotional tone is well suited to "Blues for the Tribe" which features a repeated alto figure with punctuation by Tymas. This original is percussive and danceable as is the combo's treatment of Chick Corea's "Got a Match?." "Diamond Dust" serves up serenity and interesting duo explorations involving guitar and bass guitar.
"Afro Blue" and two more originals, "Dimples" and "Peace" are more contemplative. Played without horns, they allow the listener to focus on the leader's innovative guitar technique and Ed Paolantonio's sensitive electric piano. Inspired by bop, blues, funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and West African roots, Blues for the Tribe is not only excellent music but a whole lot of fun to listen to.