Monday, February 02, 2009

David S. Ware - Shakti (AUM Fidelity, 2009)

Tenor saxophonist Ware has been dealing with some pretty serious health issues lately, but you would never know it from this, his first studio album since 2003. Ware sounds as deep and spiritual as ever, and his new band with guitarist Joe Morris, bassist William Parker and drummer Warren Smith sounds great. Ware still breathes fire in certain spots on this album, but that is really not what this music is all about, Ware is thoughtful and strategic, using his massive power in the service of the performances. The entire album was very well played with exciting music throughout, but for me the highlights were the lengthy "Nataraj" which is a sterling performance from the entire band over the course of eighteen epic minutes. "Antidromic" is a powerful free jazz performance with some of Ware's most potent playing. Joe Morris was an excellent choice as a front line partner, his fractal and spiraling guitar patterns lend wonderful texture to the music. Parker and Smith are locked into the music and sound great, but in the end the focus is on Ware, and he makes every note count.

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