IN AND OUT / James Blood Ulmer
James ’Blood’ Ulmer (guitar, vocals, flute)
Mark Peterson (electric & acoustic bass)
Aubrey Dayle (drums)
Says James “Blood” Ulmer: “No jazz-funk, no avant-garde and no experiments! I don’t have to try anything any more. I have nothing else to learn and I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I now know exactly what to do and what not to do.”
Ulmer turns back the wheel of time with his new CD In & Out. Just a few chords and he is back where everything began. In Detroit, where the gruff guitarist had his first gigs in the bands of organists Hank Marr and Big John Patton. In Minton’s Playhouse, New York, with all of those big names, such as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Rashied Ali, Paul Bley, Larry Young, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Julius Hemphill, Pharaoh Sanders, John Zorn, Vernon Reid and Bill Laswell, who were leading him through the improvising wilderness. And with his shining hero, Ornette Coleman, who encouraged “Blood” to transpose the special harmonies he created to the finger board of the guitar. Ulmer, at age 67, takes stock while at the same time is looking forward. In & Out is the title of a composition by the legendary tenor saxophone player, Joe Henderson, and is also the name of the record company for which “Blood” recorded this masterpiece. Says James, “Joe gave me a job and helped me to become known. I am very grateful to him. He was my friend.” And it was for this reason that Ulmer dedicated “Song For Joe” to Henderson. In addition, there are nine other tunes, created by his trio, which features Mark Peterson on bass and Aubrey Dayle on drums.
“Blood” likes to shake people awake. Not with commercial superficiality, which was never his message. He prefers the suspenseful depth. “Those who are full of satisfaction should no longer listen, but for those who still yearn for the truth,
I will deliver it.” The truth for Ulmer lies deep in his music. This is a musician who, from the very beginning, has been an exception to the rule. James “Blood” Ulmer has never been driven into the mainstream, but, on principle, always swam against the stream. Distinctive legendary recordings such as Tales Of Captain Black, Blues Preacher, Black Rock, Are You Glad To Be In America?, Memphis Blood, America – Do you Remember The Love?, Blues Allnight, Black And Blues, Forbidden Blues, No Escape From The Blues or Street Blues Project. Blues, time and again, Blues. The only truly free music.
Says “Blood”: “The Blacks raised the blues out of the dark into the light. My task now is to make the blues sound modern.” Which he does with panache and style. He delivers it with his unique thumb technique. Peterson and Dayle back him up and function as a well-tuned team. A thrilling interplay without patterns. Everything sounds familiar and yet, fascinatingly unexpected. In & Out features music as precious as blood. It keeps us alive.
- 1. No Man’s Land
- 2. A Thing For Joe
- 3. Fat Mama
- 4. Eviction
- 5. Baby Talk
- 6. Maya
- 7. My Woman
- 8. High Yellow
- 9. I Believe In You
- 10. Backbiter