Tuesday, January 19, 2016

David S. Ware - Live in the Netherlands (Splasc(H) Records, 2015)

This solo performance by the great tenor saxophonist David S. Ware was recorded in 1997 and was given a difficult to find release in 2001. Re-released in 2015 it shows Ware at the height of his powers, blowing with force and beauty through four spontaneously improvised sections. “4th Dimensional” introduces Ware’s massively raw and large tone as he probes and looks for an opening. His saxophone wails building up perspective to use in his improvisation. He uses periods of silence to mold the music even further, moving nimbly through the air with peals of saxophone that reach for the sky, and swirls of air that whip around him. Bolts of air are thrown down, splitting the space around him on “5th Dimensional” as he circles are around looking for purchase. He finds it in fascinating long tones of saxophone, which are played off against shorter bursts to create a dynamic push and pull feeling to the music. “6th Dimensional” opens with shorter pops of saxophone, which move from light to dark as Ware shows his mastery of the length and breadth of his instrument. The shorter runs of his horn again juxtapose against silence, and he uses this to create a sound world all his own. He moves to some blistering raw saxophone that has moments of transcendent beauty, by moving to the very highest pitches of his instrument and playing this demanding music with ease. This recital culminates with “7th Dimensional” which has a stirring opening of deep spiritual power, building the music that swirls and wraps around upon itself like a helix made of pure golden sound. He explores the low end of his instrument with guttural wails and haunting silence. You can definitely hear echoes of his mentor Sonny Rollins as well as John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, but there is no use comparing these men. David S. Ware stands tall as a true individual and this solo performance shows that he had a wellspring of creativity at his fingertips. Live in the Netherlands - amazon.com

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