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James Blood Ulmer - Revealing/Tales Of Captain Black (1977/2010 - 1978/1999)

26-12-2014, 19:28
Music | Jazz | Blues | Funk

James Blood Ulmer - Revealing/Tales Of Captain Black (1977/2010 - 1978/1999)

James Blood Ulmer - Revealing/Tales Of Captain Black (1977/2010 - 1978/1999)

Artist: James Blood Ulmer
Title Of Album: Revealing/Tales Of Captain Black
Year Of Release: 1977/2010 - 1978/1999
Label: IN+OUT Records/Diw Records
Genre: Blues, Funk, Jazz
Format: Mp3
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 69:57 Min
Total Size: 170 Mb


Revealing (1977):
01. Revealing 08:20
02. Raw Groove 08:54
03. Overtime 09:07
04. Love Nest 10:05

James Blood Ulmer - Guitars
Cecil McBee - Bass
George Adams - Saxophones, Clarinet
Doug Hammond - Drums

Revealing, by James Blood Ulmer, was the album he issued in Europe in 1977, a full year before his breakout disc, Tales From Captain Black with Ornette Coleman in 1978. Not to fear, however, with the slight difference of his guitar tone, all of the harmolodic concepts are in place and most of them are exercised here. With a quartet featuring the late George Adams on tenor, Cecil McBee on bass, and Doug Hammond on drums, Blood displays why he is easily the most original jazz guitarist of his generation. It's true that Sonny Sharrock may have been further out, but he wasn't as versatile -- Blood could play even then not only like a guitarist, though unlike any you ever heard before him -- he could also play like a bass player, a saxophonist, and a guitar player. Over the four extended pieces here -- and in particular, "Overtime" -- Blood employs what Coleman's influence made possible: that a guitar whose strings were all tuned to one note (harmolodic E) was capable of playing all the pitches at one time. Therefore, he could solo while playing chords and drones at the same time and leave plenty of room for others in the mix as well. The interplay between Adams and Blood on "Overtime" is astonishing. The melodic line breaks after every round as each man capitalizes on the other's ideas and extends the melody one bar into the frame of the improvisation. Blood had yet to show his hand when it came to his funk leanings (gained just a few years before jamming with George Clinton and Bernie Worrell in Detroit, as well as Black Nasty, and then John Patton), but they aren't far beneath the surface. There's the cut and jump key changes and the percussive down-hand evident on all of his later recordings. Revealing is more than just fascinating listening to hear the development in Blood Ulmer's playing and compositional ideas, it's a solid jazz date with visionary players taking a new turn with the music and seeing how fast they can drive it down the road. While it does not contain the sheer drama of Tales From Captain Black or Are You Glad to Be in America because it's a fairly laid-back date, it does contain all of their musical qualities.

Tales Of Captain Black (1978):
01. Theme From Captain Black 03:13
02. Moons Shine 03:51
03. Morning Bride 04:56
04. Revelation March 04:31
05. Woman Coming 03:37
06. Nothing To Say 04:12
07. Arena 04:24
08. Revealing 04:41

James Blood Ulmer - Guitars
Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Bass
Ornette Coleman - Saxophones
Denardo Coleman - Drums

Tales of Captain Black first appeared in 1978 on the Artist House label in America. It was a label set up for the purpose of allowing visionary artists to do exactly what they wanted to do. They had issued a couple of records by Ornette Coleman previously, so it only made sense to issue one by his then guitarist, James Blood Ulmer. With Coleman on alto, his son Denardo Coleman on drums, and bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma on bass, Ornette's harmolodic theory of musical composition and improvisation (whereby on a scale of whole tones, every person in the ensemble could solo at one time and stay in this new harmony) was going to get its first test outside of his own recordings. Blood was, before he was a jazz player, a funk guitarist who had tenured with Black Nasty and a side project of George Clinton's in Detroit, as well as playing as a sideman to organ groovemaster Big John Patton. Having an ally in Tacuma, Ulmer brought funk deep into free jazz territory. The disc opens with "Theme From Captain Black," a furious exercise on the interplay between Ulmer and Tacuma's root contribution. Ulmer sounds like a sideways Jimi Hendrix driving home the rhythmic riff from "Voodoo Chile" as Tacuma charges toward Denardo to undercut the time and Coleman soars over the top. But we also hear Ulmer slipping his fills in, faster than lightning, always in the cut and rolling those strings out like a sax player. On "Moon Shine," we hear the blues angle of harmolodics assert itself. Long, repetitive melody lines are played between Coleman and Blood; there's a modal feel, but it's subverted by the lack of flats. Blood augments all his chords to be played as drone-like as possible, so then even though the piece appears to be played in a minor key, after the first two measures it makes no difference because everyone is soling, not along a set of changes but a melodic line introduced at the beginning. Here is where Blood shines. His fiery arpeggios cut across the bass and rhythm lines and become their own tempo while never leaving the ensemble. The melody restates itself only often enough for the microtonal alignment between Coleman and Blood to become apparent. They are playing in different keys, and through different modal inventions, but sound in unison. On "Revelation March," which Blood recorded on Are You Glad to Be in America, is indicative of the complexities of harmolodics; it also offers a glimpse of this music out from under Coleman's tutelage. The previous melodies were all from Coleman's fake book. Here, Blood introduces the anarchy he's interested in, allowing fragmentary ideas to assert themselves as the sole reason to engage in group improvisation. Tacuma and Denardo are more than up to the challenge. Tacuma trades single lines with Blood's triple-timed fours and chords, creating a kind of melodic invention on the fly. Denardo treats the tune as if it were a march in hyperspeed. Only Coleman dares to play his loping, easy, graceful pace, blues -- wailing it above the chaos. It's beautiful. Safe to say, there are no weak tracks on Tales From Captain Black, and even the redo of "Revealing" from Ulmer's previous album show an unbridled excitement and an extrapolation of that tune's rhythmic and harmonic elements into something more sinister, more driven, more angular, more mercurial. Captain Black marks the real beginning of Ulmer's career as a leader. It has been a bumpy, restless ride since that time with many creative and professional ups and downs, but it hardly matters. Records like this one make him the most visionary and brilliant electric guitarist in a generation.

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Prof. Jah Pinpin   User offline   15 June 2016 15:37

Re-uploaded please !

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