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]