354

David S. Ware: BalladWare

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
David S. Ware: BalladWare After a 1999 European tour, the members of the David S. Ware quartet set out to capture their tumultuous live energy in the studio. Post-tour exhaustion derailed their attempts to record a high-energy performance, so they agreed upon a ballad session instead. As a result, BalladWare is the most nuanced and restrained performance by this quartet ever caught on tape.

Tenor saxophonist David S. Ware is joined by his usual quartet members, pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer Guillermo E. Brown, on a set of delicate yet impassioned ballads. They have recorded versions of all of these tunes separately in the past, but these new interpretations are markedly different than the originals.

Ware eschews his usual cathartic release, instead opting for a more measured approach. Shipp is ingenious in his accompaniment and solos, the reserved setting provides increased focus on his subtle harmonic talents. Brown is a rich colorist, interlocking seamlessly with Parker's nuanced support on these rubato forms. Due to the conversational nature of the session, ample space is made available for unaccompanied solos, duets and passages bearing minimal accompaniment.

Although nuance and subtlety might seem at odds with a group renowned for calamitous exuberance, the musicians adapt remarkably well to the restricted energy level. "Yesterdays" is taken at a languorous pace, while "Dao" moves along at a brisk but gentle clip, with Shipp's piano given to tender, abstruse lyricism. On such recognizable fare as "Tenderly," the real creative potential of the group comes to the fore. With irreverent deconstruction, the quartet reduces the piece down to a simple phrase, reconfigured, re-contextualized and re-imagined as an epic mantra.

The quartet circumnavigates the eye of the storm for a lesson in the benefits of restraint. While a cut like "Godspelized" verges on erupting into the sort of maelstrom they could easily summon, they step back, keeping the structure of the tune intact, merely burnishing the edges, rather than immolating the entire song.

Not just an exercise in restraint, BalladWare is a melancholy investigation of roads rarely traveled, and quite rich in simmering detail.


Track Listing: Yesterdays; Dao; Autumn Leaves; Godspelized; Sentient Compassion; Tenderly; Angel Eyes.

Personnel: David S. Ware: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano; William Parker: contrabass; Guillermo E. Brown: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Dream In The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Dream In The Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Sea Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Sea Changes
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Spaces
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!