Saturday, February 26, 2022

Captain Black History Month

Let's close out BHM with a post on a group that's equal parts four dudes, but who were more or less led by one guy whose birthday was a couple weeks ago, and whom I've always wanted to put on here anyway.

We'll get to his main partner in this band, perhaps in April on his next woulda-been birthday.

This set was mostly recorded 36 years ago today, but our mainman first came to prominence in the orbit of Ornette Coleman, and was an original figure in Ornette's seminal Prime Time period.

He's been in and led a whole bunch of groups since then -- he still plays at age 82! --  h
e even had his own label for a minute.

This band is one of his most majestic projects, if you ask me.

As for this concert, the main bulk of it was issued in a severely edited form on that label... or at least it was available at his shows and online for a time.

It's long gone now, but thankfully we have the pre-broadcast reel of it with the whole thing buzzing around the digital tradelands, plus another set from a few days previous I employed to optimize it all.

James "Blood" Ulmer -- as distinctive a guitar voice as exists in our world --  was 82 this past Feb. 8th, and can be found here leading his and George Adams' group Phalanx through a full 121 minutes of coruscating mayhem on tour in Germany in 1986.

German Tour 1986
Hamburg & Bremen

01 Rough Traders
02 Black Rock
03 House People
04 Recess
05 Where Did All the Girls Come From?
06 A Night Out
07 More Blood
08 Upside Down
09 I Belong In the USA
10 Nothing to Say
11 Pastime
12 Love and Two Faces
13 drum solo/drums+sax duet
14 Church
15 Funky Lover
16 "America" jam/Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk Is the Preacher

Total time: 2:01:49
Tracks 01 & 16: Funkhaus, Hamburg DE 2.22.1986 FM master reel
Tracks 02-15: Schauburg, Bremen DE 2.26.1986 preFM reels
disc break goes after Track 07

James "Blood" Ulmer - guitar & vocals
George Adams - tenor saxophone, flute & vocals
Amin Ali - bass
Grant Calvin Weston - drums

reconstruction of the full set from this tour, from two different performances four days apart
remastered by EN February 2022
734 MB FLAC/February 2022 archive link

I composited these two shows because the bass on the Bremen part didn't really get in the mix properly until the second song, so I subbed in the Hamburg performance that that begins the February 22nd set, even though the tapes sound very different from each other.

I did my best to bring them closer together sonically, but it makes little difference anyway, as once you're past the first track, the Hamburg tape doesn't resurface again until the very end of the two hours.

Additionally, this contains all the tracks from the aforementioned CD, plus the remainder of the complete 1986 Phalanx set that was not featured on that (super rare and now long out of print) single-disc release.

I'll try to do some stuff in March -- I already have a show I am working on -- but don't miss Blood Ulmer by any means... he and Phalanx turn the whole world Upside Down in these two kickass, powerful hours.--J.