Sept./Oct. 2004

My Id with special guest James "Blood" Ulmer
September 30, 2004Lula LoungeToronto

"The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice." This phrase from Brownie McGhee's song My Father's Words, so applies to James Blood Ulmer, who appeared at Lula Lounge in Toronto last night to support a show by the drummer Aubrey Dale and guitarist Ron Jackson of MY ID.

Ulmer is renowned for his distinct combination of free style jazz with bottom bumping funk and gut-bucket blues. Ulmer has recorded with Ornette Coleman, Rashied Ali, David Murray and Oliver Lake. Just seeing him makes you think of the giant tree beings, the Ents, in Lord of the Rings — ancient and earthy and real. His big rubbery fingers running over the fingerboard of the guitar let you know the master is in his proper sphere and everything is alright as it was at the beginning.

The music of MY ID has the same earthy, trancelike beat as that of Blood Ulmer. It's younger and louder and wilder, but still has the underlying sense of form that belongs to the blues and to Aubrey Dale's training at the McGill Conservatory of Music where he studied classical theory, ear-training and percussion, focused on all the main percussion instruments in classical western music; snare drum, timpani and mallet instruments (xylophone, marimba and vibraphone) and six years later, he graduated from McGill University with a bachelor degree in music performance. Special thanks to manager Serge Sloimovits for bringing this unique mixture of old and new sweet berry wine to Toronto.
Report by Stanley Fefferman Photographs by Roger Humbert
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