146

David S. Ware Quartet: Corridors & Parallels

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
David S. Ware Quartet: Corridors & Parallels On Corridors & Parallels, you can almost feel tenor saxophonist David S. Ware reaching for the sky. It's a high-octane experience. His yearning, seeking vision on the horn always aims for new heights, and on this record he definitely manages to get just a little closer.

The new David S. Ware Quartet record distinguishes itself from the first 12 (!!) with the following two features:

  • it includes electronic music for the first time; and
  • it represents Ware's big "comeback" from his major label contract.

About that first part, don't be fearful: Matthew Shipp has figured out how to play the synthesizer just fine. And about the second, be joyous: those corporate tentacles always reach into nooks and crannies and manage to smooth out hard edges where they're most needed. Music always works better when those evil tentacles disappear from the scene, in this listener's opinion.

It's hard to classify Corridors & Parallels because the record has so many unexpected angles and quirks. "Superimposed," for example, is a duet between Shipp and Ware. Shipp plays a pre-programmed rhythm track along with additional elements dynamically added live. Meanwhile Ware wastes no time in this context to draw ever-narrowing circles of light, but his integration into the rhythmic feel of the piece is patently devoted. (On other tunes, real live drummer Guillermo E. Brown makes himself quite visible. Brown's prowess and versatility are dumbfounding throughout Corridors & Parallels. It's been said before, but the world of music needs more from Guillermo E. Brown. As Ware put it in typical understatement last we talked, "Guillermo can play the drums." Indeed.)

Only one tune after "Superimposed," "Sound-A-Bye" takes an eastern drone effect to its physical and virtual limits. Here Ware challenges the stereotype that his music must always be fast and furious; and the argument is quite compelling. Bells, gongs, and church-like keyboards accompany Ware on a five-minute excursion through just about as many notes. (And that's not under-exaggerating by much.)

About Shipp's melodic synthesizer on Corridors & Parallels : it's generally not terribly polyphonic, and he generally doesn't change voices midway through a piece. That, of course, converts Shipp's role from the wildly unpredictable, explosive human dynamo to the pensive and taciturn commentator. He's an extremely smart player, so he adapts well to the new role. It's interesting. It works. When he chooses to play synth drums, the product can be so good it fools the human ear into thinking about drum kits. (Fooled mine on "Superimposed," until I learned the truth.)

Ware has invaded a new dimension of sound on Corridors & Parallels. He's making more use textured drumming, including Guillermo Brown's many colors of expression, and he's reinvented Shipp's role in the group. This new effort is a fine record: a living document of an group in flux, and a stand-alone work of art. It will be quite revealing to hear what happens next after such a dramatic change. This is living, breathing music.


Track Listing: [untitled]; Straight Track; Jazz Fi-Sci; Superimposed; Sound-A-Bye; [untitled]; Corridors & Parallels; Somewhere; Spaces Embraces; Mother May You Rest In Bliss; [untitled].

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

| Record Label: AUM Fidelity | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 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 Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "When In Moscow" CD/LP/Track Review When In Moscow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Vocturnal" CD/LP/Track Review Vocturnal
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!