Monday 9th April 2018
£15.00 - £45.00
JAMES “BLOOD” ULMER ODYSSEY TRIO
James Blood Ulmer - guitar, vocals, flute; Charles Burnham – violin; Warren Benbow – drums
James Blood Ulmer´s Odyssey presents the myriad musical directions that its iconoclastic leader has pursued over the past half-century. A wide spectrum of free jazz, country-blues, psychedelic rock, slippery soul and sanctified funk, sometimes leading into sounds which even heavy metal fans would appreciate. James Blood Ulmer created a kind of universal language from the various dialects of music, a technical innovator and a sui generis genius he is. Ornette Coleman once called him a „natural born harmolodic musician“, but as well he is influenced by his Southern origin and the Delta-blues tradition there. Ulmer’s trademark are staccato attacks who morph into searing hard-rock leads and languid rhythmic textures. This unique sound made him truly a living legend.
From all his projects and bands James Blood Ulmer developed throughout his career Odyssey is the one most related to the concept of Harmolodic Music which Ornette Coleman developed and was working on with James Blood Ulmer in the 70ies. In the last years this project got from there more and deeper into Blues. A very special project which is usually only presented at festivals.
James "Blood" Ulmer is a truly original artist. Cited by many as an avant-garde guitarist, he is actually an authentic blues guitarist, drawing upon the full spectrum of African American music, from free jazz, soul, be-bob, avant-garde, and rock. In addition to being a great guitarist, he is a stunning baritone vocal stylist whose lyrics cut into and across his music.
He began his career by playing in funk bands in Pittsburgh with stops in Ohio and Detroit before finally arriving in New York City in 1971. In 1973, James recorded with Rashied Ali, and in that same year began working with Ornette Coleman, whose concept affected Ulmer's music thereafter. His blues and rock-tinged art was raw, aggressive, as well as intellectually compelling. In the 1980s, he made three records for Columbia featuring artists like David Murray, Amin Ali, and Ronald Shannon Jackson.
“Blood” dug deeply into an investigation of the blues as the century turned. First he recorded Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions, with guitarist Vernon Reid both performing and producing. In 2003 he issued No Escape From the Blues, recorded at Electric Lady studio. In 2005, Blood released Birthright, on the Hyena label, easily his most intimate recording. His solo recording contains ten originals and two covers of classic repertoire, and takes “Blood's” blues journey to an entirely new level.
The Critics Speak:
"The most original guitarist since Jimi Hendrix."
-Robert Palmer, Rolling Stone Magazine
"Most important guitarist since Wes Montgomery."
-Stanley Crouch, Village Voice
"James “Blood” Ulmer is a wildly original guitar hero."
-Detroit Free Press
The Musicians Speak:
"One of the best guitar players I´ve ever heard."
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