Sunday, August 15, 2010

James Blood Ulmer - Part Time [Live] (1983)

As promised, here's more Blood. This one's not in print anywhere, and there doesn't seem to be an excess of good-quality rips available.
This one's from the 1983 Montreux Jazz Festival, with the Odyssey trio of Charles Burnham on violin and Warren Benbow on drums. Curiously, it's on the English Rough Trade label, perhaps better known as a punk/new wave label. I think they had previously licensed his Are You Glad to be in America album (issued in 1980 on the American Artists House label - preceding his Columbia albums) and had even released the title track as a single, so there must have been some sort of following for Blood in the UK in the early 80s.
This is quite a smokin' performance, though the recording is a bit too reverby for my liking, and the violin is a little low in the mix. I picked this up at Ashwoods for about $8 in the early nineties, and have seen it around occasionally since.
Here's some contemporaneous footage of the same group in Warsaw:

Rough Trade (England) 1984. Cat # ROUGH US 65 LP

A1: Part Time (4:55)
A2: Little Red House (5:40)
A3: Love Dance (6:39)
B1: Encore (2:59)
B2: Are You Glad to be in America? (3:38)
B3: Swings & Things (3:27)
B4: Mr. Tight Hat (5:03)

Sorry folks. This album is now available on iTunes.
12" remains OOP so check that out below.

As a Brucie bonus, here's the 12" single, Eye Level b/w Blues Don't Fail Me Now, also on the Rough Trade label from 1984.

This is a real oddity. The artwork, obviously, is similar to that of Part Time, but the music is nothing like it. It's an 'On-U Sound Mix' by Adrian Sherwood, replete with drum machines, dubby reverb and harmolodic guitar. Sounds a bit like James Blood meets Tackhead. As far as I know, neither of these songs has appeared on any album (at least not one that I possess), so this is something of a one-off. I picked this up at a jazz record shop in Chicago in 1993, and was somewhat surprised when eventually I heard it (some months later). I am still glad I bought it.
If some enterprising record label were to reissue Part Time on CD, I imagine they might add this single as bonus tracks.

James Blood Ulmer: Guitar & Vocals
Sean Oliver: Bass
Bruce Smith: Drums
On-U Sound Mix by Adrian Sherwood

Rough Trade, 1984. 45rpm 12". Cat # RTT128

A1: Eye Level (5:49)
B1: Blues Don't Fail Me Now (4:31)

320kpbs mp3
[Links fixed 22/1/12]


  1. Thanks for 'Eye Level b/w Blues Don't Fail Me Now'
    I didn't think I would have the chance of hearing this.

  2. thanks for these!

  3. Wow, awesome post. Some serious music, and impossible to find, thanks!

  4. Thanks for this post! I am especially happy about the 12" single. Sean Oliver and Bruce Smith were both with Rip, Rig + Panic at that time (and Bruce, of course, was with The Pop Group before that). So that's another American meeting with RR+P members (the other one being Don Cherry on I Am Cold).

    As for JBU and Rough Trade, his Are You Glad To Be in America was actually first released and produced by Rough Trade and only a year later licensed to ArtistHouse, which makes Part Time his second Rough Trade release (if you don't count the 7" single that was culled from his first RT LP).

    Again, great post. Glad you made a fine lossless rip of both the LP and the 12" single.

  5. Thanks for the info, Otto. I was unaware of the Rip, Rig & Panic connection.

    Apparently the Rough Trade release of Are You Glad... was a "Porky Prime Cut."
    My Artists House LP was cut by Bob Ludwig. A shoot-out between the two might be interesting.

  6. Wonderful page, I like how the website looks! The type is excellent!

  7. great post, i remember going to see Blood Ulmer at the Electric ballroom in London way back, he had Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass and I think it was Denardo Coleman on drums, but my memory might be failing me there.... not a lot of people in the audience but definitely watching were Neneh Cherry and Bruce Smith with Sean and Andrea Oliver.

  8. .... correction, I'm talking shit .... it was Amin Ali and Calvin .... the years havent been kind to my memory

  9. Thank you very much!

  10. Hi There
    Would love to hear the single here. Never even heard of the live album and I love this band. Even like the Knitting Factory live album. Would love a re-up if its no bother.

  11. Well I only recently found out about that single with Bruce and Sean very recently and never knew about that album until now. Not quite sure how that happened, but interestingly enough I was at a Blood gig guessing about 81 at I seem to recall Notre Dame Hall and a friend of mine who worked at Rough Trade gave me a copy of the mixing desk tape which I am pretty certain at one time was proposed as a RT release. Still have it but unfortunately in storage

  12. It's late forgive garbled repetition

  13. I wish I had something like that in storage, Mit.

  14. 2Ano/ If I ever get my life in order (ahem) I will rip that cassette and a few other rarities I have. I do actually have to go to the storage fairly soon so I will have a rummage and see if I can find it.

  15. 2Ano/ If I ever get my life in order (ahem) I will rip that cassette and a few other rarities I have. I do actually have to go to the storage fairly soon so I will have a rummage and see if I can find it.

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