James Blood Ulmer: Jazz Is The Teacher


Jazz Is The Teacher


James Blood Ulmer (guitar, vocals)


Blues Preacher (DIW/Columbia CK 57302)

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James Blood Ulmer (guitar, vocals),

Ronald Drayton (guitar), Mark E. Peterson (bass), Aubrey Dayle (drums)


Composed by James Blood Ulmer


Recorded: New York, September-November 1992


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

James Blood Ulmer found his way to New York in the early 1970s and by '74 was recording with Ornette Coleman. He has stated in interviews that Coleman had a profound effect on his music. I find it interesting that his tenure with the composer/saxophonist marked the beginning of that leader's use of the guitar (often multiple players) for the next 20 years in his own music. This tune is a simple blues with lyrics utilizing the standard verse setup. Ulmer solos first and is his usual jagged and unique self. His use of the wah-wah pedal creates the effect of notes bubbling up from the primordial ooze. That's not a negative, and if you stripped away all those added colors there would be a great jazz solo underneath. The second solo, by Drayton, while well played just seems a little too mainstream and superfluous.

Reviewer: Frank Murphy

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