JAMES BLOOD ULMER

It's a textbook example of a live recording filled with dynamics and clarity.

James Blood Ulmer is often compared to Jimi Hendrix, thanks to the completely new languages he developed on the guitar.

After playing rock 'n' roll, jazz-funk and even performing in a musical, Ulmer eventually caught the attention of a wider audience during the new wave and punk movements.

James Blood Ulmer Live Experience - Crying
From the album Live at the Bayerischer Hof (1994)
Label: In+Out Records
Appears on: DALI CD Vol. 4


In his youth, James 'Blood' Ulmer was attracted to local gospel, country and blues groups. By 17, he was working in Pittsburgh with rock 'n' roll bands. He spent 10 years playing in jazz-funk line-ups and worked with organist Hank Marr. By 1968, Ulmer was in Detroit and already experimenting with the innovative, if abrasive, style for which he would become known in the '80s.

Moving to New York in 1971, his work with ex-Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali in the Rashied Ali Quintet caught Ornette Coleman's ear. Shortly after, he became a student of the legendary musician. Coleman called Ulmer a "natural harmolodic player" and thus began their decade-long association.

During the '70s, his work diversified. He performed in the Cal Massey/Archie Shepp musical Lady Day at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He also worked with Paul Bley, played at Carnegie Hall with Coleman, and recorded with Joe Henderson, Larry Young and Arthur Blythe.

Ulmer is often compared to Jimi Hendrix due to the completely new languages he developed on the guitar. Ulmer eventually caught the attention of a wider audience during the new wave and punk movements.

Crying is simply a wonderful live recording by Ulmer where the atmosphere flows out of the speakers. It's an extremely dynamic recording, especially the rhythm section with the drums and bass guitar, which stand out very precisely. It's a textbook example of a live recording filled with dynamics and clarity.

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