James Blood Ulmer

Free jazz has not produced many notable guitarists. Experimental musicians drawn to the guitar have had few jazz role models; consequently, they've typically looked to rock-based players for inspiration. James “Blood” Ulmer is one of the few exceptions—an outside guitarist who has forged a style based largely on the traditions of African-American vernacular music. Ulmer is an adherent of saxophonist/composer Ornette Coleman's vaguely defined Harmolodic theory, which essentially subverts jazz's harmonic component in favor of freely improvised, non-tonal, or quasi-modal counterpoint. Ulmer plays with a stuttering, vocalic attack; his lines are frequently texturally and chordally based, inflected with the accent of a soul-jazz tenor saxophonist. That's not to say his sound is untouched by the rock tradition—the influence of Jimi Hendrix on Ulmer is strong—but it's mixed with blues, funk, and free jazz elements. The resultant music is an expressive, hard-edged, loudly amplified hybrid that is, at its best, on a level with the finest of the Harmolodic school.

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Albums

In And Out
In And Out
In+out record
2010
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[no cover]
In And Out
Warner Bros. Records
2009
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Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions
Bad Blood in the...
Hyena Records
2008
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Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions
Bad Blood In The...
Hyena Records
2007
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Birthright
Birthright
Hyena Records
2005
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No Escape from the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions
No Escape from the...
Hyena Records
2004
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Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
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Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
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Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
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Archie Shepp Archie Shepp
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Marc Ribot Marc Ribot
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