James Blood Ulmer

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Ulmer began his career playing with various soul jazz ensembles, and first recorded with organistJohn Patton in 1969. After moving to New York in 1971, Ulmer played with Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers, Joe HendersonPaul BleyRashied Ali and Larry Young.

In the early 1970s, Ulmer joined Ornette Coleman; he was the first electric guitarist to record and tour extensively with Coleman. He has credited Coleman as a major influence, and Coleman’s strong reliance on electric guitar in his fusion-oriented recordings owes a distinct debt to Ulmer.

He formed a group called the Music Revelation Ensemble with David Murray and Ronald Shannon Jackson, with whom he recorded throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Different incarnations of the group also featured Julius HemphillArthur BlytheSam Rivers, and Hamiet Bluiett on saxophones and flutes. In the 1980s he co-led, with saxophonist George Adams, the ensemble Phalanx.

 


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