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David S. Ware/Matthew Shipp: Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004

Mark Corroto By

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In every mystical film we see, like A Sea Of Trees and A Dog's Purpose or book we read—A Sudden Light by Garth Stein or Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, the departed find a way to communicate with the living. As humans, we desire this experience. Fortunately, music affords us this opportunity at just about every turn. While there are no newly discovered Albert Ayler recordings coming, there are some by saxophonist David S. Ware yet unissued. Thanks to Steven Joerg, label chief at AUM Fidelity, who is perhaps the keeper of the Ware flame, we have music that will outlive the untimely death in 2012 of the great man. His label posthumously released the 2 CD Birth Of A Being (2015).

In this Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004 release we have something special. Captured at Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz Festival is a duo between Ware and pianist Matthew Shipp. Their relationship began 15 year earlier, as Shipp was an apprentice in the David S Ware Quartet. That quartet with William Parker and either Guillermo E. Brown or Susie Ibarra released more than a dozen sessions. By 2004, the pianist was beginning to be recognized as a master musician himself. That, plus the fact that these two only performed a half dozen times in duo, makes this a valuable recording.

Shipp has performed and recorded in duo with multiple players, such as Evan Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, William Parker, Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, and currently Michael Bisio and Ivo Perelman. This meeting with Ware has the feel of a father/son one-on-one, except the son is now his own man.

The music is centered on a 41-minute two part "Tao Flow" improvisation with a brief encore. The pair maintain a nearly constant intensity without sacrificing the music's sturdiness. By that I mean they don't challenge each other with one-upmanship as much as they perform in mutual admiration. That might be the charm here, because both players have the capability to dominate the stage and their bandmates. There is constant uplift and mutual encouragement. When one player drops out, the other never runs far away, making for one great listening experience.

Track Listing: Tao Flow, Pt. 1; Tao Flow, Pt. 2; Encore.

Personnel: David S. Ware: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano.

Title: Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity

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