Marked their transition from the very 80s jazz funk to the very 90s acid jazz.
Daryl Easlea 2009-04-17
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.