Home » Jazz Articles » David S. Ware / Cooper-Moore / William Parker / Muhammad Ali: Plan...

209
Album Review

David S. Ware / Cooper-Moore / William Parker / Muhammad Ali: Planetary Unknown

By

Sign in to view read count
David S. Ware / Cooper-Moore / William Parker / Muhammad Ali: Planetary Unknown
Planetary Unknown marks the first time this quartet played together, though that isn't apparent, given the music's deep roots and connections.

Drummer Muhammad Ali is brother to Rashied, who worked with John Coltrane's post-Elvin Jones group. This is his first appearance on record since the early 1980s, and he brings a wealth of experience with the likes of Albert Ayler and Alan Shorter, to the table. Saxophonist David S. Ware and pianist Cooper-Moore came to New York together in 1973, and this release marks their first collaboration in thirty years. William Parker vies for the title of "Charles Mingus of the 21st century," such is the breadth of his musical vision.

The level of their understanding is on display on the opening "Passage Wudang," which is an invigorating blast. Ware's tenor sax tone is so steeped in history that it's positively scary, while Ali's way with fragmented time is the work of a man who deserves more chances to record. The maelstrom he and bassist Parker coax forth is remarkable in the degree to which it's equal to the moment's demands.

"Shift" is propelled by Ali's rhythmic delicacy, and the resulting airiness informs the other men as they go about their work. In view of the force of nature that Ware has become it's very easy to lose track of what Cooper-Moore is doing, but his sly way with dissonance marks him as a pianist appreciative of the whole of jazz piano history. It's this knowledge from which he fashions his highly personal expression.

On sopranino sax, Ware has something of Anthony Braxton about him, especially as the two men share a penchant for phrases of rapid, barely articulated notes. The comparison is obvious on "Crystal Palace," but it's Parker, with his bow, who's the architect behind the piece's ecstasy.

The rush of "Ancestry Supramental" is akin to some kind of demon's dance, but the music's motion is profoundly human as it's the net result of four musicians working as one. The profound spontaneity this implies is all over this music, which is one of the reasons why the program has the air of a twenty-first century classic about it.

Track Listing

Passage Wudang; Shift; Duality is One; Divination; Crystal Palace; Divination Unfathomable; Ancestry Supramental.

Personnel

David S. Ware: tenor sax (1-3), sopranino sax (4-6), stritch (7); Cooper-Moore: piano; William Parker: bass; Muhammad Ali: drums.

Album information

Title: Planetary Unknown | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.