330

James Blood Ulmer: In And Out

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
James Blood Ulmer: In And Out The title of this record is simultaneously a tip of the hat toward the record label which released it and an appropriate explanation of the music contained within. James Blood Ulmer's sound resides at the crossroads where Jimi Hendrix's blues-rock collides with Ornette Coleman's music; where gutsy blues songs meet the avant-garde. His voice bears some similarity to Hendrix's—with a little bit of Richie Havens' low end thrown in and a primordial blues delivery that's earth-shaking, brilliant, and increasingly expressive as the years go by.

Throughout these ten tracks, Ulmer—joined by bassist Mark E. Peterson and drummer Aubrey Dayle—journeys through bold blues music, self-styled swing, psychedelic rock and far-reaching free jazz. His vocals on "No Man's Land" show a confident, aggressive singer, capable of delivering scorching guitar lines that cut to the heart of the matter. "A Thing For Joe" quickly takes things in another direction, as Dayle's hyper, tumbling drumming borders on the brink of chaos, but always hangs on by a thread. Ulmer delivers some skittering guitar lines and a hard-driving flute solo that is more "out" than "in." Peterson and Dayle both get some space to show off here, though Ulmer quickly goes in a different direction for the third track, "Fat Mama." Guitar histrionics that come out like a stormy blues-rock raga are front-and-center at the top of the tune, but this caustic yet creative area is quickly left behind when a solid groove is established, locked in by sixteenth notes on the hi-hat. Ulmer proves himself an elemental blues force, lighting up the track with his guitar work, with the song ending in the same uncertain manner as it began.

A cool, strolling swing feel sits behind Ulmer on "Eviction." His dapper, hip lines, sounding slightly brittle with a bit more reverb added, contrast nicely with the more explosive sounds of other tracks. If alternative rockers Primus ever collaborated with Bo Diddley, it might have ended up sounding something like "Baby Talk." Dayle lays down an elemental, tribal tom groove, while Ulmer's oblique lines are one of a kind. "Maya" moves between a modern folk feel and a loose swing style, providing another great showcase for Ulmer's twin talents of voice and guitar. While the material on the first half of the album shows that Dayle can hold down a mean groove and follow Ulmer out to the furthest reaches of time, "High Yellow" gives him a chance to show a more melodic side. His drum solo here is a far more nuanced display of skill and taste. His comping is exciting and adds to the big picture, while Peterson proves to be the rock solid presence that holds it all together.

The music on James Blood Ulmer's In And Out lives up to the title, covering both extremes in its name and everything between them.


Track Listing: No Man's Land; A Thing For Joe; Fat Mama; Eviction; Baby Talk; Maya; My Woman; High Yellow; I Believe In You; Backbiter.

Personnel: James Blood Ulmer: guitar, vocals, flute; Mark Peterson: bass; Aubrey Doyle: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: In+out record | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Garden of Equilibria" CD/LP/Track Review The Garden of Equilibria
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "When In Moscow" CD/LP/Track Review When In Moscow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Vocturnal" CD/LP/Track Review Vocturnal
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Oakland/Lisboa" CD/LP/Track Review Oakland/Lisboa
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!