James Blood Ulmer

South Carolina born musician James Blood Ulmer has a pedigree others could only dream of. A soul jazz guitarist initially, 'Blood' would go on to record with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in an outfit that included Rashied Ali and Larry Young before moving on to the become the first electric guitarist to record with free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, a result that proved to be both innovative and inspired. Throughout the eighties and nineties, 'Blood' would lead various big bands including the Music Revelation Ensemble (with Ronald Shannon Jackson) and Phalanx before stripping back to a three-piece drums, guitar and violin outfit - once described as "avant gut-bucket" - named Odyssey. In more recent years, Ulmer has gone back to his roots; the blues, and has found even more success, most evident on his recent release 'In the City'.  He is a major 21st Century blues artist who transcends category, and this disc is a major work.  - David Whiteis (Living Blues)