Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Ranelin, Phil (Phillip Arthur)

Ranelin, Phil (Phillip Arthur), trombonist, composer, arranger, producer; b. Indianapolis, IN, 25 May 1939.

From 1945-53, Ranelin attended Hazel Hart Hendricks #37, Elementary & Middle Schools. From 1953-57, he attended Arsenal Technical High School. From 1957-58, he attended Jordan Conservatory and studied under the principal trombonist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In 1958, he took academic courses at Indiana University. In 1959, he took private lessons in Indianapolis with David N. Baker. At Henry Ford College, Dearborn, Michigan, he was a Summer Institute Fellowship recipient to study with Professors Bunky Green (of Chicago State University), Nathan Davis (of University of Pittsburgh), Louis Smith (of University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) and Donald Byrd (of Howard University). He began his career in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he sat in with many notable musicians at jazz clubs throughout the city. When he was nineteen he met guitar great Wes Montgomery at a club called the Hub Bub and he played sixteen straight weeks with Montgomery on the Saturday matinee along with Paul Parker and Melvin Rhyne. In the 60's he sat in whenever Eddie Harris and Grant Green came through town. In 1964, Ranelin was asked by his childhood friend and jazz great Freddie Hubbard to move to New York to join and record with his group. It was in New York in 1965 where he met Thelonious Monk, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson, and other inspiring players. Although Ranelin was flattered by Hubbard's offer to work with him in New York, after a short stay, he returned to Indianapolis where he was raising a family. In 1968, with local work scarce, he moved to Detroit where he would still be close to his family and would find more musical opportunities. Once in Detroit, Ranelin began to play in several groups and had the opportunity to play with greats like Marcus Belgrave, Pharaoh Sanders, and one especially memorable night with Rahsaan Roland Kirk. In 1972, while Ranelin was teaching musically advanced inner city children, he met Wendell Harrison. Together they founded "Tribe", an artists' collective of jazz musicians who ventured into the business and recording aspects of music in order to maintain more artistic control. Tribe was Detroit's counterpart to other self-determined jazz collectives such as Collective Black Artists of New York City, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians of Chicago, and U.G.M.A.A. of Los Angeles. Besides releasing records, Tribe also published their own magazine which featured social and political commentary as well as music reviews and interviews. It  was another method to spread the word. It was a source of Black Pride and provided an opportun ity for many in Detroit who would have otherwise been unemployed. It was a vehicle for musicians, artists, writers, and thinkers to rediscover their childhood dreams. "The word Tribe possessed near magic proportion when uttered in the African American community," says Ranelin. As a session player for Motown Records, Ranelin worked alongside Motown studio legends James Jamerson and Pistol Allen, playing on albums for Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. He also played live in the Motown travelling band, the Swinging Dashiki's. His Motown work enabled him to invest in his own music, which eventually lead to Ranelin producing his own records. In 1976, Tribe released its final record and it was Phil's "Vibes From The Tribe." Ranelin decided to move to Los Angeles where he had the chance to once again meet up with childhood friend, Freddie Hubbard.

Recently, Ranelin assembled his live act " Phil Ranelin &Tribe Renaissance" and plans once again to take his music to the people. anelin still resides in Los Angeles where he remains musically and socially active. He introduced Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance at the 2000 Pasadena Playboy Jazz Festival and again at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was designated by official resolutions as a "Rare and Valuable Cultural Treasure" and a "Cultural Ambassador" by the Mayor and the City Council of Los Angeles and completed a fifteen city tour of Japan with the New Temptations. As a leader, Ranelin has shared the bill with Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Les McCann, Sonny Rollins, David Sanchez, Pharoah Sanders, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, O.C. Smith, Leon Thomas and McCoy Tyner.
Under the banner of The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble, Ranelin has amassed some of the most dynamic musicians in the Los Angeles area, such as the tribute to Freddie Hubbard's 60th Birthday, April, 1998 at the Vision Theatre in Leimert Park; his tribute to the late Horace Tapscott at the Skirball Cultural Center where he debuted an entire original suite in tribute to Tapscott, with whom Ranelin played as a permanent member of the Horace Tapscott Sextet and as a member of Tapscott's Pan Afrikan Peoples' Arkestra; his free concerts in tribute to Duke Ellington's  Centennial Year for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs via a Regional Arts Grant to perform for under-served communities at two Los Angeles City Parks in the San Fernando Valley; his free concert in tribute to Louis Armstrong's Centennial Year at the State of California's African American Museum sponsored by The Times/Mirror Foundation; his five-trombone t ribute to J.J. Johnson at the 2002 International Association for Jazz Education Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center; his tribute to Eric Dolphy at the Culver City Radisson Hotel; and his presentations of Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance at the 2000 Pasadena Playboy Jazz Festival, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, at WLCAC mentioned above, Jazz At Drew, USC's Bovard Auditorium as part of LA JAZZ 2002 by Spectrum, at Santa Monica,s hot spot, The Temple Bar, and at UCLA's 2002 Annual Reggae and Jazz Festival - all showcasing a trombone-led all-star saxophone quartet front line and a four-piece rhythm section reminiscent of Ranelin's Tribe hey-days in Detroit.  He has enjoyed the trombone of choice seat in the Horace Tapscott Sextet, The Pan Afrikan Peoples' Arkestra, the Michael Session Sextet and Taumbu International Ensemble.  His WLCAC performance in Phoenix Hall in homage to John Coltrane, his Howling Monk Tribute to Melba Liston and his IAJE five-trombone tribute to J.J. Johnson were all made possible in part by a highly competitive three-year Multi-Cultural Entry-Level Grant from the California Arts Council.  Ranelin is currently focusing on securing concert and festival bookings for his nine-piece Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance band. In 2002 Ranelin was nominated as The People's Choice Best Jazz Artist of the Year in the LA Weekly Music Awards. 

Message From The Tribe (1971); The Time Is Now (1974); Vibes From The Tribe (1976); Love Dream (1986); A Close Encounter Of The Very Best Kind (1996);
As sideperson:
Bill Doggett: Honky Tonk (1969); Marcus Belgrave w/Roy Brooks: Gemini II (1973); Ed Nelson and Miller Brisker: Hasting Street Experience (1975); Freddie Hubbard: Love Connection (1978), Skagly (1979), Mistral (with Art Pepper and Stanley Clarke) (1980); Norman Connors: A Day In The Life (with Pharoah Sanders) (1981); Freddie Hubbard: The Best of Freddie Hubbard (1988); Freddie Redd w/Teddy Edwards: Everybody Loves A Winner (1991); Norman Connors: Passion (1992); Dawan Muhammad w/Billy Higgins: In The Hood (1994); Solomon Burke: Live at the House of Blues (1994); Henry Franklin: Basic Instincts (1995); John Sinclair: Full Circle (1996); Various Artists: Monterey Jazz: 40 Legendary Years (featured on Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower") (1997)

Theater work:
Wild Women's Blues," with Linda Hopkins, Marty Jabara , Cond. (1997/Berlin); "Five Guys Name MO,"  George Middleton, Cond. (1998/Florida); "Sophisticated Ladies," Kevin Tony, Cond. (1999/Westcoast); "Ain't Misbehavin'," Kevin Tony, Cond. (2000/Westcoast)

"Harlem Nights," Eddie Murphy (1995); "Lush Life"  Forrest Whittaker (1995); "Scarlett Diva" featured trombone soloist for Musical Director, John Hughes, Jr, in actress Asia Argento's Italian debut as film Director (2000)

Drew Carey Show:  Acted and played as a Trombone Player for one episode (1999)

2001-02/03/04         3-Year Concert Grant, California Arts Council, Multicultural Entry-Level Grant
2002                        Artist in the Community, L. A. Regional Arts Grant, Department of Cultural Affairs
2001                        Artist in the Community, L. A. Regional Arts Grant, Department of Cultural Affairs
1999                        Artist in the Community, L. A. Regional Arts Grant, Department of Cultural Affairs

12/1/00 California State Senator Richard Polanco sponsored Member Resolution #851 designating Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble as rare and valuable "California Cultural Treasures and as California Cultural Ambassadors throughout the Nation and to the world audience"
11/16/00 California State Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo sponsored Member Resolution #3362 designating "The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble as rare and valuable California Cultural Treasures and that Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble are designated as California Cultural Ambassadors throughout the Nation and to the world audience"
5/25/00 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Ranelin's birthday, May 25, 2000, as "Phil Ranelin Day throughout Los Angeles County and that Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble as are hereby designated as rare and valuable Cultural County Treasures and that Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Ensemble are officially designated as Cultural Ambassadors for the County of Los Angeles
5/25/00  California State Senator Teressa P. Hughes presented Phil Ranelin with a Senate Certificate "in recognition of your excellence as a Master Musician and your outstanding contributions as a Cultural Ambassador to the Greater Los Angeles Area, the Nation and the World
11/24/99 Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and all 15 members of the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution sponsored by Councilmember Alex Padilla, designating Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble as "rare and valuable cultural City Treasures" and as "Cultural Ambassadors for the City of Los Angeles throughout the nation and to the world audience"
1974 Detroit Mayor Coleman Young presented the Keys to the City of Detroit to Phil Ranelin, Donald Byrd, Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney and Wendell Harrison at the Ford Auditorium for their cultural contributions to people of Detroit
1958 Indianapolis, First Place in the citywide City Parks talent contest;
1951 Indianapolis, Trombonist, All City Elementary School Band (w/Freddie Hubbard).

As a leader, shared the bill with Les McCann, Stanley Clarke, Billy Harper, Leon Thomas, O.C. Smith and McCoy Tyner.
2000-Present/Los Angeles    Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance (9-Piece Group)
1996-Present/West Coast     Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble (6-Piece Group)
1996/Los Angeles                 Phil Ranelin & Dem Bones (5-Piece Trombone Choir)
1994-2000/Los Angeles       Phil Ranelin Duo (w/acoustic bass or piano)
1980-Present/Los Angeles    Phil Ranelin, Master Trombonist (Solo)
1966-Present/Indianapolis    Phil Ranelin Quintet, Detroit & West Coast
1963-Present/Indianapolis    Phil Ranelin Quartet, Detroit & West Coast

2001-Present/Detroit           Tribe Reunion (w/Wendell Harrison, Marcus Belgrave
                                             and Harold McKinney (deceased))
1999-Present/Indianapolis   Indiana Avenue Revisited (varied leaders and
1999-Present/West Coast     Donald Dean Septet
1998-99/Los Angeles            Horace Tapscott Quintet
1997-Present/West Coast     Michael Session Sextet
1995-Present/West Coast     Henry Franklin Sextet
1995-2000/Los Angeles        BoneSoir (5-Piece Trombone Choir)
1990-Present/Mondiale        Taumbu International Ensemble
1977-95/Mondiale                Freddie Hubbard Sextet
1975/Midwest                      Roy Brooks and The Artistic Truth
1970-77/Midwest                 Tribe
1968/Midwest                      The Swinging Dashikis

Big Bands:
1999-Present/Los Angeles    Pan Afrikan Peoples' Arkestra, Michael Session Cond.
1999-01/Indianapolis           Indiana Avenue Revisited All Stars, Jimmy Coe, Cond.
1998-99/San Diego              Duke Ellington Orchestra,  Paul Ellington, Cond.
1997-Present/Los Angeles    The Al Aarons Jazz Caravan
1990-99/Los Angeles            Pan Afrikan Peoples' Arkestra, Horace Tapscott Cond.
1978/Los Angeles                 Gerald Wilson Big Band
1973/Detroit                        Gerald Wilson Big Band
1971-76/Detroit                   Jimmy Wilkins Big Band

1979/Mondiale        Freddie Hubbard
1970-77/Midwest    Tribe
1969/Mondiale        Joe Simon, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder
1968/Mondiale        The Temptations, Smokie Robinson & The Miracles,
                               The Four Tops.

Contact information:
www.ranelin.com & www.heftyrecords.com
(213) 388-4884Phone
(213) 388-8883  FAX

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