Monday, March 8, 2010

David S. Ware: Returning Is So Sweet

David S. Ware (sax, b. 1949)
Saturnian (Aum Fidelity)

David S. Ware is one of the most astounding saxophonists on the scene today. In my opinion he is one of the jazz musicians you continually pushes jazz beyond its borders. For anyone looking for the John Coltrane successor, David S. Ware is it. With 24 albums to his name, Ware is not only prolific, his music is an adventure is sonic and structure. He came to prominence while working for the avant garde pianist, Cecil Taylor.

David ventured out on his own in the mid-eighties with his own quartet that shifted drummers until finally deciding on the fully realized group of Matthew Shipp (piano), Guillermo E. Brown (drums) and William Parker (bass). This group created a string of phenomenal albums in the mid-nineties including Wisdom Of Uncertainty (Aum Fidelity), Go See The World (Columbia) and Surrendered (Columbia). David's style is fierce, relentless, evocative and spiritual. David S. Ware's 2007 release BalladWare (Thirsty Ear) is probably the most accessible Ware has ever recorded and can be easily enjoyed by those unfamiliar with the musician but familiar with some of John Coltrane's latter work such as Crescent, Africa Brass and Impressions.

His 2008 recording, Shakti (Aum Fidelity) was an album of intense emotional beauty revolving around the concept the divine creativity power as expressed in the Hindi tradition. For the last several years David had been suffering from kidney failure and just recently received a transplant. His newest album, Saturnian (Aum Fidelity) is a solo saxophone performance live in New York City from October 2009. This was David's first return to the live stage in months. The album features three extensive pieces all performed on three different types of saxophones (Saxello, Stritch and Tenor). This is probably the best way to celebrate the return of the greatest saxophonists on the scene today. It is an emotional evening and you can feel the joy pouring out of each note Ware plays. Saturnian is a celebration of life, musical voice and ongoing creativity. I haven't felt this type of energy since Evan Parker or Rashaan Roland Kirk. A real must for David S. Ware fans.

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