JAMES BLOOD ULMER

Eclectic Fusion / Blues / Jazz Related Rock • United States
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James "Blood" Ulmer (born February 2, 1942 in St. Matthews, South Carolina) is an American avant-garde jazz and blues guitarist and singer. Ulmer's distinctive guitar sound has been described as "jagged" and "stinging." His singing has been called "raggedly soulful."

Ulmer began his career playing with various soul jazz ensembles, and first recorded with organist John Patton in 1969. After moving to New York in 1971, Ulmer played with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Joe Henderson, Paul Bley, Rashied Ali and Larry Young.

In the early 1970s, Ulmer joined Ornette Coleman; he was the first electric guitarist to record and tour extensively with Coleman. He has credited Coleman as a major influence, and Coleman's strong reliance on electric guitar in his fusion-oriented recordings owes a distinct debt to Ulmer.

He formed a group called the Music Revelation Ensemble with David Murray and Ronald Shannon Jackson, with whom he recorded
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OdysseyOdyssey
Music on CD 2015
$8.89
$7.00 (used)
Black & BluesBlack & Blues
Diw Records 1994
$69.42
$14.92 (used)
Live at the Bayerischer HofLive at the Bayerischer Hof
IN+OUT Records 2011
$8.55
$8.59 (used)
Are You Glad to Be in America?Are You Glad to Be in America?
Disk Union 1995
$35.31
$24.99 (used)
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JAMES BLOOD ULMER Discography

JAMES BLOOD ULMER albums / top albums

JAMES BLOOD ULMER Tales of Captain Black album cover 4.24 | 6 ratings
Tales of Captain Black
Eclectic Fusion 1979
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Are You Glad to Be in America? album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Are You Glad to Be in America?
Eclectic Fusion 1980
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Free Lancing album cover 4.45 | 3 ratings
Free Lancing
Eclectic Fusion 1981
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Black Rock album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Black Rock
Eclectic Fusion 1982
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Odyssey album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Odyssey
Eclectic Fusion 1983
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Part-Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Part-Time
Eclectic Fusion 1984
JAMES BLOOD ULMER America - Do You Remember The Love? album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
America - Do You Remember The Love?
Eclectic Fusion 1987
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Blues Allnight album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues Allnight
Eclectic Fusion 1989
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Revealing album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Revealing
Eclectic Fusion 1990
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Black & Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black & Blues
Jazz Related Rock 1991
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Blues Preacher album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Blues Preacher
Eclectic Fusion 1992
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Harmolodic Guitar With Strings album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Harmolodic Guitar With Strings
Eclectic Fusion 1993
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Bloody Guitar album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bloody Guitar
Blues 1993
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Music Speaks Louder than Words album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Speaks Louder than Words
Eclectic Fusion 1996
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Reunion (as Odyssey) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reunion (as Odyssey)
Eclectic Fusion 1998
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Forbidden Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Forbidden Blues
Eclectic Fusion 1998
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Blue Blood album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Blue Blood
Eclectic Fusion 2001
JAMES BLOOD ULMER No Escape From The Blues - The Electric Lady Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
No Escape From The Blues - The Electric Lady Sessions
Blues 2003
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Guitar Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guitar Music
Blues 2003
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Back in Time (as Odyssey) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Back in Time (as Odyssey)
Eclectic Fusion 2005
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Birthright album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Birthright
Blues 2005
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Bad Blood in the City album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bad Blood in the City
Blues 2007
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Inandout album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Inandout
Blues 2009

JAMES BLOOD ULMER EPs & splits

JAMES BLOOD ULMER live albums

JAMES BLOOD ULMER Live at the Caravan of Dreams album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Caravan of Dreams
Eclectic Fusion 1986
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Wings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wings
Eclectic Fusion 1988
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Live at the Bayerischer Hof album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Bayerischer Hof
Eclectic Fusion 1994
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Reunion (as Odyssey) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reunion (as Odyssey)
Eclectic Fusion 1998
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Memphis Blood (The Sun Sessions) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Memphis Blood (The Sun Sessions)
Eclectic Fusion 2001
JAMES BLOOD ULMER James Blood Ulmer and The Thing : Baby Talk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
James Blood Ulmer and The Thing : Baby Talk
Eclectic Fusion 2017

JAMES BLOOD ULMER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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JAMES BLOOD ULMER Reviews

JAMES BLOOD ULMER Free Lancing

Album · 1981 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
In the late 70s and early 80s the jazz rock scene in New York City stood far apart from the rest of the states, and much of the rest of the world as well. While most of the big fusion stars of the mid-70s were content to let their music slide into the somewhat profitable but forever dull world of fuzak, the NYC scene took a totally different path; gritty, tough, noisy, streetwise music that was the opposite of sophisto-lite dinner jazz for the nuevo yuppie crowd. In the late 70s Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking avant-garde funk band Prime Time inspired countless post-punkers with jazz chops and avant-garde jazz artists to get their unique take on jazz rock off the street corner and up on a real stage or club. By 1981 James Blood Ulmer was practically a poster child for this new genre that the press often called punk-jazz or punk-funk, his raw mix of be-bop, funk, avant-garde rock and Ornette styled freedom was the perfect mix for the NYC pallet. This album is a tour de force representative of the so called punk jazz sound of the early 80s. Ulmer's ensemble on here includes some of the finest jazz musicians of this style and era, and their playing is inspired and on fire. All is not just pure energy either, the fast unison lines from the horn players display a finely honed technique that hadn't been heard in jazz since the classic days of high speed be-bop. In between the intense jazz numbers we are treated to a couple very earthy funk numbers, backed by female vocalists, that were a harsh wake up call against the slick disco-funk of the early 80s. These 'punk-funk' numbers help break up the constant searing attack of the jazzier numbers.

A lot of the drum rhythms on here are bizarre and are the complete opposite of the sort of abstract intellectualized dinner-funk that was prevalent in the world of fusion at this time. Drummer Calvin Weston pulls a lot of influence from Ronald Shannon Jackson with his constant 'drum line' attack on the toms and the almost country-punk feel of the charging 4 on the floor hi-energy assault on the verge of chaos feel of many numbers.

This is a great album and these musicians are in top form as they play with a rare and classic virtuosity. 'Free Lancing' is highly recommended for fans of avant-garde jazz as well as other punky jazz groups such as Prime Time, Vernon Reid or Material. My only complaint is that the constant energy and relentless drumming on some numbers can be a little numbing.

JAMES BLOOD ULMER Tales of Captain Black

Album · 1979 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Tales of Captain Black hit the world of jazz-rock fusion in the late 70s like a hot slap in the face. Following on the heels of his mentor Ornette Coleman's release 'Dancing in Your Head', on which Ulmer played guitar, Blood Ulmer continues Ornette's excursions into bizarre avant rock- jazz in a style that was a bold affront to the reigning fuzak of the day. 'Tales' picks up Ornette's rambling Captain Beefheart flavored rural cubist jagged RnB and adds more avant-garde elements, especially in the bizarre rhythms supplied by the uncompromising drummer son of Ornette, Denardo Coleman. Whereas 'Dancing in Your Head' tended to hit a weird groove and stay there, the tunes on 'Tales' often feature multiple part poly-rhythms with each of the four band members seeming to operate independently of each other. Trying to describe this music is tough, along with the aforementioned Don Van Vliet, John French and Ornette Coleman precedents, there is also an influence of avant-garde European concert hall chamber music in the clarity and independence of the individual instrumental lines. Some might also hear a Chris Cutler/Fred Frith influence in some of the rambling improvisations. Although little of this music may resemble Hendrix on the surface, Jimi's presence is felt in Ulmer's raw upfront guitar sound and frequent use of a wah pedal. Keep in mind that in 78-79, when this album came out, working class guitar virtuosos were hard to come by as guitar less Kraftwerk clones and chops-challenged punk rockers ruled the day and wah-wah pedals were neither seen nor heard.

Uncompromising, unconventional and as raw as the NYC streets from which it came, Tales of Captain Black still sounds as fresh today as it did when it first came out when very little else sounded like it. Tough and unpolished, yet sophisticated and intellectual at the same time, this album is a rare work of genius.

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