Amoeblog


Ornette Coleman & James Blood Ulmer 1974

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 25, 2009 11:21pm | Post a Comment
I was thinking about James Blood Ulmer, who is one of my favorite guitar players. As great as musicians John Coltrane and Miles Davis were (and still are), they have many legions of imitators who sound just like them. I love Ulmer for the same reason I love Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy; The minute you hear Dolphy, you know it's Dolphy. No one can copy their style. It's both out and in, rooted in church blues, structured in classical music and improvisational all at the same time.

I was already a fan of James Blood Ulmer a few years back as I was playing legendary organist John Patton's album, Accent On The Blues. The song was a breezy soul jazz piece that suddenly came to life with a crazy guitar solo. I didn't even have to read the credits to know it was Ulmer, but I checked anyway. Sure enough, it was him.

I didn't know much about James Blood Ulmer's work with Ornette Coleman. I searching the internet and stumbled upon this video.The song is called "Theme from a Symphony from Dancing in Your Head." The band is Ornette on soprano sax, Blood Ulmer on guitar, Norris Sirone Jones on bass, and the late great Billy Higgins on drums. It's from 1974. I love the way the song starts. It sounds like Blood Ulmer is playing a Velvet Underground song under Ornette's sax line. Together, both musicians compliment each other as they are both heavily rooted in the blues. It is as beautiful as it is abstract. I love it!


Today James Blood Ulmer's music is less jazz and more funk/blues oriented and that great tone as morphed a bit. He sounds what I'd imagine Hendrix would have sounded like now if he was still alive. Check out some of his newer tracks on his myspace page.

Relevant Tags

James Blood Ulmer (2), Ornette Colemen (1), Eric Dolphy (4)