Monday, July 03, 2017

David S. Ware Trio - Live in New York, 2010 (AUM Fidelity, 2017)

In what has become a highly anticipated yearly event, this years release from the archive of reed master David S. Ware is a very satisfying live album, recorded at the Blue Note in New York City on October 4, 2010. He is joined by longtime compatriots William Parker on bass and Warren Smith on drums for two sets of completely improvised jazz. Recorded on the heels of their successful album Oncept, they show a nearly telepathic sensibility with the opening tracks of each set beginning with an extended unaccompanied reed feature. The unaccompanied tenor saxophone introduction to "#1 A" really sets the tone for the music to come, and it is even more potent when the bass and drums come barreling in, developing a whirling collective improvisation. Ware touches on his mentor Sonny Rollins, and then goes on to demonstrate a thoroughly original conceptual framework, making way for his partners to join him in creating music that is joyous and emotionally resonant, complete with overblown accents, boisterous upper register shrieks and bellowing dark long tones. Ware is patient and thoughtful, exploring the boundaries of his instrument and the improvisational opportunities contained within. "#1 C" begins with some slow probing of the space, which gives them a whole lot of range within which to create powerful music. Guttural lines of saxophone meet with thick bass and rolling drums to give a sense of perpetual motion, playing with loose motifs, and expanding upon them. The grandeur and honesty of the music become almost overwhelming at times like on the opener of the second set, "3" where Ware switches to the stritch (or straight alto,) and uses the unique sonorities of the instrument to ever so slightly alter the group's sound, opening unexplored vistas and leading to a powerful collective improvisation, as they have a conversation with sound rather than words. The eastern tinge of the instrument is very compelling, and Ware is a master of pacing and dynamics, building a solo that grows into a coherent narrative, one that encompasses a wide swath of musical culture and history. Deep and resonant bass and malletted drums quietly build into the music, expanding the horizon even further, and Parker develops a superb bowed bass feature, backed by gently rolling percussion. There is a powerful drum solo to open "#4 A" with Smith gaining a deep and compelling rhythm that is further focused with Ware and Parker entering and then using this foundation for a potent improvisation. This was a tremendously successful release, and is highly recommended to anyone interested in modern jazz. Ware was a shining beacon of inspiration during his life and that notion deserves to be continued and celebrated. Live in New York, 2010 - amazon.com

Send comments to Tim.