From John Coltrane’s late period of meditations and high-energy improvisation, David S. Ware, 49, has a manner that can either irritate or impress the listener because of his expressed passion and intensity. The tenor saxophonist was influenced by Coltrane, studied with Sonny Rollins, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, worked with Cecil Taylor and later, Andrew Cyrille. With over a dozen recordings as leader over the past ten years, Ware still remains unpredictable and unique.
Searing with a Coltrane and Rollins influence, Ware lays the blues on us with his opening track. The meter, a comfortable 10/4, lends a sense of intrigue and uniqueness to the loping piece. "Lexicon," erupts from its start with a constant breathtaking stream of saxophone wails, flurries, and fire. Ware, through cyclic breathing, is able to inhale while maintaining his performance air stream, so four or five minutes of uninterrupted saxophone showers at a time is not unusual. The piece mellows, as Ware hands the reigns over to Matthew Shipp. Savoring space as much as motion, the pianist complements Ware’s firestorm with poetic phrasing and waves of subtle intensity. Bass and drums back him appropriately before Ware returns to conclude with his characteristic passion. Similarly, the form allows Ware and Shipp to split "Lexicon," "Logistic," "Estheticmetric," "The Way We Were" and "RaptureLodic" into equal saxophone and piano halves of fiery conversation. "Estheticmetr! ic" emphasizes meter and contains a stellar extended drum solo by Ibarra, while "RaptureLodic" emphasizes rhapsody by the ensemble and includes an extended bass solo from Parker. "Quadrahex" provides a different sound, using silent space, gongs, plucked strings, quasi-unison four-part phrases, and group improvisation. Ware and his trio use their intuitive cohesiveness to throw down the canvas over which they create. Marilyn and Alan Bergman’s lyrics to "The Way We Were" would turn dramatic and stark if they were to be offered alongside Ware’s intense Ayler-esque streams. While the familiar melody is immediately recognizable, it’s couched in terms of thunder, lightning, and all of Nature’s perils. Such power, such a force! With his energetic trio beside him David S. Ware offers an intense, dramatic session that still maintains a balance.
Recommended for those who like a little hot sauce with their dinner.
Personnel: David S. Ware- tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp- piano; William Parker- acoustic bass; Susie Ibarra- drums.