Now that we have a long weekend, I can catch up with some torrents I downloaded before going on vacation.
James "Blood" Ulmer - New York City 5/25/04 Blood's music over the past couple of years has mixed the electric blues he's been recording for Joel Dorn's hyena label with the harmelodic jazz that he came up playing with Ornette Coleman. This set is from last years Vision Festival and has Jamaaldeen Tacuma on bass and Grant Calvin Weston on drums. This group has played together for a long time and they work well together. Tacuma mixes it up with the sound man trying to get a little more bass in his monitor, I can't really tell if he's kidding or razzing the guy for real, but when he starts rapping about needing bass in the monitor... it slows this show down a little bit. On the upside, Blood plays some stinging guitar as always and sings a few blues standards in his distinctive voice. He has a new solo blues album just out which I am anxious to hear as well.
Fred Anderson Trio - Gyor, Hungary 4/26/03 Here's the ageless tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson far from his usual Chicago stomping grounds at a festival gig in Hungary with bassist Darius Savage and his main man, drummer Hamid Drake. The audience certainly got their money's worth with this concert - Anderson and company roar out of the gate with a 41 minute collective improvisation. Anderson has been around long enough to play a multitude of styles from bop to free and Drake's rhythmic abilities make him the perfect accompanist. Both the opening and 26 minute second improvisation are intense, but never stray into grandstanding - this is the real stuff. Anderson wraps things up himself with a 3 minute bluesy solo performance, a perfect sendoff to a wonderful concert.
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