Ulmer, “Blood” James (b. 1942)

Born in St. Matthews, SC; guitarist; Ulmer began his career playing in funk bands, first in Pittsburgh (1959-64) and later around Columbus, OH (1964-67); he gigged at Minton’s Playhouse and played with Art Blakey, recorded with Rashied Ali’s Quintet (1973), and worked with Ornette Coleman, Ulmer’s main influence; he recorded in the 1970s and 1980s, and recorded three sessions for Columbia (1981) which gained him wide exposure; he collaborated with the Music Revelation Ensemble (tenor saxophonist, David Murray, bassist, Amin Ali, and drummer, Ronald Shannon Jackson) and they produced several albums over two decades; his work with Phalanx (tenor saxophonist, George Adams, bassist, Sirone, and drummer, Rashied Ali) catapulted him into free jazz expressionism that made him successful; in recent years (1980s-1990s), his work has evolved from free jazz to more structured music though his work in the 1990s with Music Revelation Ensemble still hints at his earlier style; his recordings are numerous includingMemphis Blood: The Sun Sessions, No Escape From the Blues (2003), Birthright (2005), and ten solo originals and two covers of classic repertoire.

Image Gallery

Selected Albums


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