Saturday, March 13, 2010

David S. Ware - Saturnian: Solo Saxophones Vol. 1 (AUM Fidelity, 2010)

David S. Ware has overcome some pretty serious health setbacks recently, but you wouldn't know it by the strong and deeply dignified music he makes on this album. In this intimate setting, just him and the horns (he plays saxello and stritch, two horns often associated with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, as well as tenor saxophone) and a small audience, he improvises three pieces that are built like fine architecture, with one musical brick fitting beautifully atop the next to make a cohesive and thoughtful whole. There is nothing rushed here, the music is patient and distinguished, and Ware's beautiful golden tone, echoing the masters like Hawkins, Coltrane and Rollins, shines like the light from a powerful star. The three selections develop over the course of eleven to fourteen minute lengths, which are perfect for Ware to spin what are essentially musical short stories, stories that link together beautifully to form a cohesive narrative whole. Ware probes at the silence with his horn, bobbing and weaving like a boxer. He never feels the need to overwhelm the silence, using the air around him as a partner, sculpting the very molecules into artworks of sound. This is particularly true on "Anthe," taken on tenor, where he juxtaposes high toned squeals with guttural low moans, to produce a very dynamic effect. The LP length of around forty minutes is perfect for a performance like this. It allows the listener to give his or her undivided attention, and that attention is awarded with hypnotic and absorbing music. Hopefully more volumes will be on the way shortly. Saturnian: Solo Saxophones - amazon.com

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