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Gig Alert: James "Blood" Ulmer

Thursday, March 24, 2011

James “Blood” Ulmer
“There is Power in the Blues”
Playing Thursday at The Jazz Standard
(116 E. 27th St., Gramercy)
Get: Tickets ($25-30) | Directions

Guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer has taken a long trip through the annals of African-American music. He started with soul-jazz, playing with groups like the Jazz Messengers in the 1970s. Then, he moved into the avant-garde, backing up the iconoclastic Ornette Coleman later that same decade. As a bandleader in the 1980s, he mixed free-jazz with hard hitting funk and rock. Now, however, he’s back to the music that started it all: the blues. His greased-up, no-nonsense electric guitar sound has drawn comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, securing Ulmer’s legacy as a living master of the instrument. On this track off of his 2007 album Bad Blood in the City, Ulmer demonstrates the power of the blues--with crunchy guitars, soaring organs, and squealing harmonicas. Thursday through Sunday, Ulmer plays the Jazz Standard, backed by a killer band that features Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid.

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