David S. Ware (sax: tenor, stritch, saxello)
Onecept (Aum Fidelity; 2010)
William Parker (bass)
Warren Smith (drums)
David S. Ware's newest release, Oncept (Aum Fidelity) is a celebration on multiple levels. First it is a celebration of a half century of playing saxophone and creating music which has engaged and challenged listeners and the structure of jazz itself. Second it is continued documentation of an artists overcoming adversity (dialysis, kidney transplant) and pushing forward with the exploration of spontaneous sound.
Oncept was recorded just a few months after his return to live performances (as documented on Saturnian (Aum Fidelity; 2009)). The trio which he has worked with in various forms (most recently 2008's Shakti) is in supreme form on Onecept. This is free form improvisational album similar to the solo concert album Satunian. Ware utilizes the same saxophones he used for that concert on this session. While there is a distinct difference in the sound of each horn that Ware uses, the main theme that runs throughout the recording is the unity of the trio.
"Book Of Krittika" opens the set in gripping ascendancy. Ware performs on the stritch sax. Both Smith and Parker are exquisitely in snyc with Ware's vision on this piece. Ware and Parker have a wonderful battle about midway through that is truly magical. "Celestial" is smokin' piece which Smith's drum work is slice of brilliance. Parker and Ware appear to follow along but you soon realize this is one unit playing a breakneck pace. That pace bleeds into "Desire Worlds" (with Ware playing saxello) which see Smith and Parker keep time on a feverishly changing of patterns from Ware. Absolutely stellar stuff.
"Astral Earth" and "Bardo" (Ware playing tenor on "Bardo") are two slightly midtempo gems with emotional resonance that exude the joy and bliss. There is a special connection on Onecept that for me highlights three musicians whose harmonic relationship has produce a collection of brilliant recording over the years. Oncept is just another jewel in the David S. Ware's ongoing career of excellence and creativity. Here's to his 50 years of playing saxophone and hopefully many more.