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Odyssey

James Blood Ulmer Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Jazz
  • ASIN: B000024RNU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,475 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you own one Blood album it should be this one 25 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this years ago on LP, just because the instrumentation intrigued me - I knew next to nothing about the musical content. I was hooked! I've seen him play at various festivals and though I like his more straight-ahead bluesy and funky stuff too, this is still accesible but some of the most original guitar work you will have ever heard. Love it to bits and still listen to it often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harmolodics? Who cares it's great music 17 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have no understanding of music theory. I think JBU is an advocate of Ornette Coleman's theory which balances equally melody, rhythm and sound.

For me the key thing is that melody has a role. This is difficult music but it's easy to enjoy.

I agree with the previous review that says this is a good CD to start investigating JBU with.

Buy why why why are his CDs so hard and so expensive to find??? Someone must reissue them soon - he's far to brilliant to be allow to become obscure!
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars oddball ramble (the review, that is) 26 Oct 2001
By m_noland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Archaelogists recently uncovered the following correspondence while excavating a first generation Pentium computer:
Dear Chris,
You once described all this Wynton spearheaded retro jazz as "Bush jazz". (That's "Bush" as in "George H.W.," not "jungle," "minor league" etc.)
Sony bought Columbia Records and the Japanese are archivists so they have started reissuing on CDs all of this early 70s - early 80s jazz with careful remastering (the acoustic and electric basses no longer blend into low-end mush on Weather Report's Sweetnighter, for example).
I recently picked up two of these reissues: the aforementioned
Sweetnighter (the first jazz record I ever bought, and still one of my favorites) and James Blood Ulmer's Odyssey.
You may not remember Blood. He put out two (possibly three) lps on small independent labels which I purchased for 'SRN. I may have been the only person to play them on the air. (Maybe Dan did, subbing a jazz show. I sometimes wonder what happened to those records -- I've got some great tapes that are beginning to wear out and break.)
Odyssey was his major label debut. It came out when I was a graduate student at Hopkins. I remember seeing it displayed at the record store near the campus. I could not afford to buy it.
I did have the opportunity to see Blood touring to support it, though. For some reason, for about a six month period a suburban disco, bless their souls, booked Blood, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Defunkt, James White/Chance et al. on Wednesday nights for a $2 cover. (Actually, their strategy was pretty transparent -- nobody was gonna show on Wednesday night, so book these guys, start the shows real late and sell beer.) Anyway, saw I Blood. By the time he did "Are you Glad to Be in America?" during the second set around 2am the crowd had fallen from about 300 to 6, making me and two grad student buddies half the audience. It must have been really discouraging. Columbia dropped Blood after one album when its plan to make him the "new Hendrix" didn't pan out.
(Jamaladeen and Cosmetic were great by the way -- they had these
wonderful pastel suits -- Jamaladeen looked like a giant grasshopper playing the bass. Rick Iannacone played guitar in that band. They did a beautiful version of "I Looked for Love". I don't think they ever recorded it. Last I heard Tacuma and Iannacone were playing in a band with a bunch of Korean folk drummers -- seriously -- I bought the CD in a Seoul department store.)
Anyway, listening to Odyssey became a kind of minor obsession for me -- one of those things I had never been able to attain, and given circumstances, probably never would. You missed all this stuff being in Ghana. (Kinda like I missed Willie Horton being in Japan.) It was a momentary (underline momentary) continuation and a merging of the free jazz and punk movements. Contemporaneously, Phil Glass was packin' 'em in and playing Letterman.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I walked into a record store the other night and to my astonishment there were Sweetnighter and Odyssey on display (remember U and W are not far apart
alphabetically).
The mix on Sweetnighter is really an improvement over the record.
Discernable basses (there were two bass players on some cuts) and it no longer sounds like someone changed the equalization setting
roughly 10 minutes into "Boogie Woogie Waltz".
Odyssey is a idiosyncratic, daring record (guitar, violin, drum
line-up). Charles Burnham plays a wah-wah violin - don't worry -- it sounds better than it reads. And whoever at Columbia backed its release was either a) an idiot, b) a visionary, c) had done some serious hallucinogens, or d) was doing us a favor. My guess is that it is all of the above.
What is interesting and saddening about these two releases is that it is inconceivable that they would be issued on a major label with serious distribution or get airplay on commercial stations today. (Despite Columbia's backing, Odyssey probably got little commercial exposure when it was released, but I do remember hearing Sweetnighter and Mysterious Traveler on the more adventuresome rock station in Houston when I was in high school. I also remember Weather Report playing a double bill with the Ohio Players in an arena and selling it out.) Technological change and narrow-casting certainly increases the amount of accessible expression, but the cost is fragmentation --
can't imagine a Weather Report - Ohio Players double bill today
(Lollapalooza comes the closest, I suppose), nor 'HFS even playing something as accessible as TJ Kirk. Despite the Parents Against Bad Words (or whatever they call themselves) we are living in the 1950s, aesthetically at least.
Anyway, what provoked this ramble was the new Odyssey liner notes
which I recalled your earlier remark:
"Odyssey was, and is, a very different and exciting recording from a unique and instantly recognizable guitar voice. It also poignantly captures a period of bold musical experimentation in downtown early 1980s New York City when funk, punk, jazz, and blues were seamlessly co-mingling and young lions in three-piece suits were only beginning to xerox jazz's past...Those jarring sounds, at once tumultuous and beautiful like the city itself...captured a moment in time -- New York City, circa '80-something B.W. (Before Wynton)."
Selah.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have 2 May 2008
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is Blood Ulmer's best and most approachable album. Some records are just flat-out interesting from start to finish, and this is one of 'em. I can remember the first time I heard this, 25 years ago.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Freelancing" was the first. 28 Nov 2004
By Mr.D - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Actually,the major label debut for Blood was a virtually impossible to locate LP by the title of "Freelancing".It featured Jamaldeen Tacuma,G.Calvin,and some smokin' girl background singers.
This is completely the last word in avant proto funk,and has to be heard to be believed.Of course,don't expect this from Columbia anytime soon on CD.They are too busy reselling remastered Aerosmith CDs with extra unreleased photos.
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic artist 1 Sep 2011
By TJ Simone - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I saw James Blood Ulmer live in Vienna a while ago, he's outstanding live and this album really brought back some memories... enjoy!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much fiddle 17 July 2012
By Buddy Iodine - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Good as this is, it's not a representative album or Blood's best. The dosey-do on a lot of the songs is sort of jarring. I don't care what xgau says--I can't really enjoy it. Free Lancing is much better (please reissue!) or seek out a live set.
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