James Blood Ulmer, one of the "greatest guitarists of all time," followed by a 2nd set feat. D. Bryant, N. Leonard, F. Williams, J. K. Jones

"Third Thursdays" feat. James Blood Ulmer in a solo performance for the evening's 1st set, followed by the evening's 2nd set w/Dave Bryant ("Third Thursdays" host/keys), Neil Leonard (saxophone), Frederick Williams (bass), James Kamal Jones (drums). "Ulmer still sings as if 20 miles of bad road lie ahead." (Miami New Times)
By: Dave Bryant Music
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James Blood Ulmer (photo credit Julia Wesely)
James Blood Ulmer (photo credit Julia Wesely)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Oct. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- James Blood Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential electric guitarists who has made a career built on left turns and reinvention. One of the most expressive guitarists on the planet, Blood is one of the undisputed keepers of the flame for the "harmolodic movement" created by Ornette Coleman. He takes those fundamentals and applies them at will to any genre he pursues, from rootsy Americana, rock, hyper funk, outside electric, Hendrix-inspired cosmic blues. Blood's music is rooted in the blues. And yet, he flirts with it.

Born in rural South Carolina and raised by God-fearing Baptist parents, Blood was gifted his first guitar at age 4. His early passion for performing music was sparked by gospel, but it did not take long before other sounds and styles were on his radar. The blues especially. For Blood, the blues—the devil's music— was alternately alluring and frightening. It got him thrown out of the house.

Over time, as a full-time working and touring musician, performing in a variety of styles, he was inspired to also develop his jazz chops, determined that they match his already solid foundation in gospel and R&B. While struggling to develop his own unique jazz voice, Blood's career took a dramatic turn when he finally moved to NYC and met Ornette Coleman. While Blood kept one foot in straight-ahead jazz to pay the bills, he steadily fell under the influence of Coleman's harmolodic theory and free music experimentations. Since then, he has continued to channel his long life's musical experiences and explorations into the vast blues/jazz/funk/country/freeform musical landscape, cementing his reputation as one of the great American music pioneers.

James Blood Ulmer was recently included in Rolling Stone's "The 250 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list (dated: 10/13/2023): "James Blood Ulmer is fully aware, theoretically and idiomatically—he's just never been constrained by those concerns. He is a rock. He is unapologetically himself. He is the blues. Itself. Not its rules." (Vernon Reid)

"I've made 64 records and none of it's jazz.
It's all harmolodic as far as I'm concerned."

(James Blood Ulmer, Facebook, 2015)

Improvising keyboardist Dave Bryant, host of the monthly "Third Thursdays" harmolodic jazz series, is curating his November's concert to feature the solo performance of special guest James Blood Ulmer, one of Ornette Coleman's most important early co-conceptualists. The second half of the evening will include a set performed by Bryant along with his fellow Ornette Coleman collaborators Frederick Williams (bass) and James Kamal Jones (drums), joined by Neil Leonard (saxophone).

Listings information for November:
"Third Thursdays" with Dave Bryant and Friends: a monthly harmolodic jazz series. Continues on Thursday, November 16, 8:00 pm, consisting of two sets. With James Blood Ulmer (a solo performance), followed by a set performed by Dave Bryant (keyboards), Neil Leonard (saxophone), Frederick Williams (bass) and James Kamal Jones (drums). For further updates, including advance tickets, visit dbryantmusic.com/third-thursdays/ Admission $15/person, available in advance and at the door (cash/check/charge). Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138. Contact information: bryantequilibria@gmail.com, 617-447-3030.

Further background information on "Third Thursdays" curator and host:
Dave Bryant ("Third Thursdays" host, keyboards) has been based in Cambridge, MA for many years. Early in his musical career, Bryant was a protégé of harmolodic jazz genius Ornette Coleman, having studied with him, then invited by Coleman to be the first electric keyboardist to perform in his Prime Time group. Bryant joined Prime Time in 1990, touring worldwide and performing on Prime Time's Tone Dialing album. Bryant's own first album, Shock Exchange, with liner notes by Coleman, was recorded in 1986 with his trio at that time, bassist John Turner and percussionist Chris Bowman. In 1999, Bryant released The Eternal Hang with Turner, Bowman, George Garzone, Bob Gullotti, and recording engineer Roger Nichols. That same year he performed on the John Tchicai/Charlie Kolhase Quintet disc, Life Overflowing, which was named "Jazz Album of the Year" by Boston Music Awards. In 2015, Bryant released The Garden of Equilibria, which features performances by Bryant, performing in a variety of settings, both acoustic and electric, with Tom Hall, Neil Leonard, Curt Newton, Eric Rosenthal, Jeff Song, and Jacob William. Bryant's most recent recording Night Visitors is a 2020 collaboration with bassist Charnett Moffett and percussionist Gregg Bendian, which "finds Bryant adapting the Coleman aesthetic to an intensely personal ripple and rumble piano style" (Mike Hobart, jazz critic for the Financial Times). Jazz journalist Howard Mandel considered Night Visitors one of the best jazz albums of 2020. Other credits include performances with Leroy Jenkins, Bern Nix, Eric Person, Badal Roy, Wadada Leo Smith, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston, and more. Bryant has also performed and lectured in Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, and Istanbul. Bryant teaches at Longy School of Music of Bard College. dbryantmusic.com

Further details on the "Third Thursdays" monthly series:
The "Third Thursdays with Dave Bryant and Friends" harmolodic jazz series began in April 2022, with the overall goal of showcasing a diverse range of Boston-area musical artists, as well as Dave's fellow Ornette Coleman sidemen. A few months ago, it was announced that the funding for "Third Thursdays" monthly series would be extended for another year, starting in April 2023. Dave Bryant is honored that the series has received additional support from the Appalachian Springs Foundation (ASF) in order to continue this 12-month cycle extension.

The intent of "Third Thursdays" is to provide a venue for free jazz improvising artists, both local and national, to perform their work in an acoustically sympathetic performance space with professional video and sound recording to document the event. Dave Bryant was a long-time student and sideman of free jazz legend Ornette Coleman as a member of Coleman's Prime Time group. Consequently, another key purpose of the series is to document the experiences, reminiscences, and musical contributions of members of Coleman's bands for presentation in a podcast. The series is providing well-deserved exposure locally and internationally for local free jazz artists and for Coleman collaborators as well as first-hand insights and information from those collaborators about Coleman's musical processes and philosophy.

All "Third Thursdays" sessions are held monthly at the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, located a short walking distance from Harvard Square. Audience seating capacity will abide by whatever health and safety protocols are in place on any given month. The "Third Thursdays" harmolodic jazz series is funded in part by the Appalachian Springs Foundation (ASF), a private foundation located in Charleston, WV. As a nonprofit arts and educational organization, ASF has supported dance, film, music, and educational projects. All of the "Third Thursdays" concert and interview videos that have been recorded since April 2022 can be found at dbryantmusic.com/third-thursdays.

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Tags:Jazz Concert, Blues Concert, James Blood Ulmer, Ornette Coleman, Dave Bryant, Experimental Jazz Concert, Harmolodic Jazz Concert, Jazz Funk Concert
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Location:Cambridge - Massachusetts - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 30, 2023

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