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James “Blood” Ulmer: Third Rail

Third Rail (Antilles 314-533-965-2ADV, 51:48) showcases one of the many sides of the multifaceted James Blood Ulmer. Namely, the grease-droppings-nasty, dirt-road funk side. Bernie Worrell, Zigaboo Modeliste, Aminah Claudine Myers and Bill Laswell frame Blood’s dusty vocals and subdued guitar heiroglyphs in maggotoid early ’70s P-Funk goo, with a dose of blues and soul thrown in for good measure. This isn’t the incendiary Blood-it’s the kicked back on the porch with some ribs Blood. Here his his guitar is employed as support and embellishment rather than as a linchpin. If there is an instrumental focus, it’s Worrell’s pungent organ and clavinet , which underpin “Dusted” and “Grounded,” and soar through “Please Tell Her,” and “Blues March.”

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