Thursday, May 19, 2011

Music Revelation Ensemble - No Wave (1980)

Some more James Blood Ulmer for yez.

Here he is in "out" mode, as distinct from blues, funk or "harmolodic pop song" mode. Music Revelation Ensemble was James Blood's free jazz combo, usually with his guitar and a horn player out front. Initially, it was with the amazing David Murray, and later had a near-incredible roster door of guest horn players, including Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Pharoah Sanders, Hamiet Bluiett and even John Zorn.

This is their first album, on the German Moers Music label, which seems to have specialised in recording free jazz/improv artists (I assume it was an off-shoot of the Moers music festival). I've got a couple of their other releases by Ronald Shannon Jackson and Phalanx (Ulmer's other "out" group with another great tenor, George Adams). The remainder of the Ensemble's releases were on the Japanese Label, DIW (and appear to be available to buy for download nowadays) and appeared several years later, between 1988 and 1996, when Blood's guitar tone was a little more genteel than it was here. This is like the freer tracks on his early Columbia albums, but taken a whole lot further out than they were.

Terrific sound on this recording too, although Blood's improvised vocals on 'Sound Check' seem a bit distorted. Perhaps the engineers weren't ready for him to start yakking along with the music in phrasebok German.

Jackson would appear on the Ensemble's next, self-titled, album along with Murray and Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Thereafter, Ali would return to the bass seat, and join with Cornell Rochester as the rhythm section for most of their remaining albums. All of the albums are worth checking out if you have a mind to do it.

James Blood Ulmer: guitar and vocal
David Murray: tenor saxophone
Amin Ali: electric bass
Ronald Shannon Jackson: drums and percussion

Recorded at Studio 57, Dusseldorf, June 1980.

A1: Time Table (10:00)
A2: Big Tree (8:45)
B1: Baby Talk (9:36)
B2: Sound Check (8:06)

Moers Music, West Germany. Cat # 01073

320kbps mp3
[Links fixed 21/1/12]

1 comment:

  1. thank you very much, used to have this a long time ago, but disappeared in my vinyl clear out a long time back....