Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

James “Blood” Ulmer: Music Speaks Louder Than Words

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

In several of his recent outings, the jangly harmelodic guitarist has fancied himself a bluesman. Sure, there’s a rawness and raggedness in both his singing and playing that translates to that idiom, but the chunky, hamfisted backbeats he has locked himself in with on mediocre blues-rock projects like Blues Allnight and Blues Experience have done him a great disservice. Blood always sounds best when he’s skronking over the top of a free flowing, interactive and understated rhythm section, as on 1977’s Revealing with drummer Doug Hammond, bassist Cecil McBee and saxophone George Adams (reissued last year on the Rounder-distributed In & Out Records). He conjures up that more open-ended vibe on this collection of Ornette Coleman compositions.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.