Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

David S. Ware / Planetary Unknown: Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
For its second release, cooperative super group Planetary Unknown offers three collectively birthed cuts recorded live at the Austrian Saalfelden Jazz Festival in 2011. Even though given equal billing, saxophonist David S. Ware gets the biggest font size metaphorically in the concert introduction and features most prominently in the mix. In fact, it is Ware who provides most of the narrative thrust in the quartet's enthralling arc of creativity.

Ware has moved away from the compositions that were the mainstay of his classic quartet to unfettered, on-the-fly creation. But that is not to say the result is formless. With over 16 decades of hard won experience between them, each of these four is a master at this form of expression. Even though there is no tune or fixed tempo, what they produce is still recognizably jazz. But with the shortest cut just shy of 15 minutes, and the longest more than double that, this is long-form improvisation, where the group navigates towards a satisfactory ending, guided by an innate sense of structure, outstanding instrumental prowess and keen appreciation of each others' contribution.

Ware is inevitably heard as the lead voice, seemingly inexhaustible, playing most of the time. His trademark muscular sound edges from gruff barks to pure falsetto yelps, often sustained by circular breathing into excitable streams of canine-bothering squeals. If he ever flags, the madcap accompaniment of pianist Cooper-Moore quickly provides the stimulus for even greater exertion. A barrage of glinting left-field pianistics jab and prod almost continuously. Throughout all the reed man's transformations, bassist William Parker has remained at Ware's side and it is easy to hear why: his probing counterpoint and rippling arpeggios provide the fulcrum around which the band spins, in tandem with Muhammad Ali's buoyant pulse and shouts of encouragement and affirmation.

The overall sound is dense with everyone going full-tilt. Ware's unaccompanied muezzin call begins "Processional 1" which quickly morphs into a churning quartet. The saxophonist plays for the first 16 minutes in a bravura display, before leaving Cooper-Moore's dervish frenzy in the spotlight. He's back at the end with an elongated upper register flourish, which leads seamlessly into the more conversational "Processional 2," notable for an extended passage where the pianist's tumbling vamp grounds yet another stratospheric flight from the reed man, and a gritty roiling interlude dominated by Ali's torrential polyrhythms. Pick of the bunch is the final "Processional 3," ushered in by Parker's tolling pedal point call countered by his own exclamatory arco response, which takes on a dark-hued melodicism, stretched by Ware into an incantatory psalm. It all makes for a formidable outing, easily the match of Planetary Unknown's incendiary eponymous 2011 debut.

Track Listing: Processional 1; Processional 2; Processional 3.

Personnel: David S. Ware: tenor saxophone; Cooper-Moore: piano; William Parker: bass; Muhammad Ali: drums.

Title: Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011 | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019