trageser.com
Music Review

Home
Computers
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Interviews
Links
Favorite quotations
Contact Me



Challenge your ears

In the Name of the Music Revelation Ensemble
In the Name of the Music Revelation Ensemble
By James Blood Ulmer and the Music Revelation Ensemble

DIW / Columbia Records: 1995

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com
Buy it now




Blues Allnight
Blues Allnight
By James Blood Ulmer

In + Out: 1995

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com
Buy it now


These reviews first appeared in the June 2, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

James Blood Ulmer's music sure isn't for the faint-hearted. It's loud, phrenetic, at times angry, and always a challenge to listen to.

Two new albums showcase two sides of Ulmer's guitar-based music: his harmolodic approach to jazz (picked up during a long stint with Ornette Coleman) and his heavy electric blues.

Ulmer's jazz on "In the Name of the Music Revelation Ensemble" moves with a deeply conveyed passion, an underlying swing that ties the seemingly dissonant themes together, giving his free-wheeling approach a structure upon which to lay down his frantic leads and solos. Guest saxophonists Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers and Hamiet Bluiett blow as fiercely as Ulmer picks, giving the album an intensity that can exhaust the listener!

On his blues set, he's mixed in some heavy metal elements – not so different from what Living Colour's Vernon Reid or The Kinsey Report have done in melding contemporary urban themes with the grandiose, almost operatic scale of heavy metal. It is harder driving than even most metal, though, and with a funkier backbeat. The blues album is definitely more accessible than the jazz outing, although you'll still need a fairly open attitude toward the music to appreciate what Ulmer is after.