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Back in Time

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
James Blood Ulmer removes his name from the cover of this reunion of his Odyssey trio, and for good reason. As the rather awkward group name indicates, this is more of a band album than a solo project, especially with Ulmer's longtime associate Charles Burnham's searing violin playing such a prominent role in the sound. Only the third appearance of this ensemble on album, and the threesome's sole release since 1998's Reunion concert disc, the collective's synergy remains amazingly sharp. Burnham's violin, Warren Benbow's propulsive, in-the-pocket yet often skeletal drums, and Ulmer's throaty vocals and harmolodic guitar lines tug and tumble with each other. Musically this ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
James Blood Ulmer removes his name from the cover of this reunion of his Odyssey trio, and for good reason. As the rather awkward group name indicates, this is more of a band album than a solo project, especially with Ulmer's longtime associate Charles Burnham's searing violin playing such a prominent role in the sound. Only the third appearance of this ensemble on album, and the threesome's sole release since 1998's Reunion concert disc, the collective's synergy remains amazingly sharp. Burnham's violin, Warren Benbow's propulsive, in-the-pocket yet often skeletal drums, and Ulmer's throaty vocals and harmolodic guitar lines tug and tumble with each other. Musically this falls on the bluesy side of jazz, not surprising in that Ulmer has spent the majority of his time since 1998 filtering the blues through his own distinctive vision. The album's instrumentals such as the winding "Water Tree" and the ominous "Love Nest" comprise about half of the playing time, and give Ulmer's non-vocal contributions equal footing with the other players. The MIA bass parts aren't missed due in part to Ulmer's innovative playing and the band's sheer intensity. Recorded live in the studio during a three-day stint in May 2005, the disc crackles because of the largely improv approach of the pieces. Each track supports its own groove, and the interaction of all three players with nobody hogging the spotlight shows the collaborative nature of this project. A slight world beat infuses these tracks, due in part to Ulmer and Burnham's distinctive, atypical approach to their instruments. The brooding atmosphere is heightened by Ulmer's husky, quivering vocals, especially effective on the cautionary "Let's Get Married" definitely not the Al Green song. Listeners who appreciate the guitarist/vocalist's forays into the blues will find this to be down a similar dark alley, and those who come to this album through Ulmer's more dissonant jazz work will also find lots to enjoy in Back in Time's timeless and riveting music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/29/2005
  • Label: Pi Recordings
  • UPC: 808713001822
  • Catalog Number: 18
  • Sales rank: 85,649

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Last One (4:40)
  2. 2 Open Doors (6:11)
  3. 3 Happy Time (5:52)
  4. 4 Little Red House (5:16)
  5. 5 Water Tree (5:29)
  6. 6 Love Nest (5:18)
  7. 7 Woman Coming (5:45)
  8. 8 Channel One (7:08)
  9. 9 Let's Get Married (5:11)
  10. 10 Free for Three (4:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Odyssey Band Primary Artist
James Blood Ulmer Indexed Contributor, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Warren Benbow Drums, Group Member
Charlie Burnham Violin, Group
Technical Credits
James Blood Ulmer Composer, Producer
Warren Benbow Composer
Charlie Burnham Composer
Bob Musso Engineer
Alan Nahigian Cover Image
Seth Rosner Executive Producer
Yulun Wang Executive Producer
Michael Fossenkemper Mastering
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