Wednesday, November 02, 2016

David S. Ware and Matthew Shipp Duo - Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004 (AUM Fidelity, 2016)

It is still startling and a little heartbreaking to hear the massive and unmistakable sound of David S. Ware's tenor saxophone in this exquisite duet with pianist Matthew Shipp. It is a reminder of what a protean force Ware was to modern jazz during his lifetime, and the simpatico relationship that he shared with Shipp, who was a member of the famous David S. Ware Quartet for many years. This is a beautifully recorded concert, and the empathy and respect the two musicians share for each other is palpable. This concert is one continuous long form improvisation presented in two sections: "Tao Flow" part one and part two; which stretch out to cover a marvelous range of textures and tempo shifts. There is a delightfully emotional encore to the concert with Ware quoting the spiritual "Wade in the Water" that is also included and makes for a poignant conclusion to the recording. Ware's depth of field and authority over the instrument is a joy to hear and Shipp is right there, interacting, goading, and dropping out entirely when necessary. The whole concert is improvised at the highest level of instrumental facility, and the emotions that it evokes make for an ecstatic deep listening experience. Matthew Shipp writes that he and Ware performed just a few duo concerts in that period. Thankfully, on this occasion, their work together in this form was professionally recorded. The very deep levels of communion which were developed within the context of Ware’s Quartet inform this work, but in equal evidence is each of them embracing the leaderless duo context, challenging and expanding their mutual language throughout. Following Ware’s unfortunate death in October 2012 on the eve of his sixty-third birthday, a project was undertaken to continue releasing works of Ware's music in order to further understand his distinctly potent sound and vision. Hopefully this series will continue to bear fruit like it does on this historic and fascinating recording. Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004 -

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