200

David S. Ware: Shakti

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
David S. Ware: Shakti The path an original voice must take in jazz this century is quite different from that of 50 years ago. Gone are the big labels and covers of TIME magazine. The 'big names' in jazz are institutionalized at universities and Lincoln Center, making records with Willie Nelson and playing covers of Nirvana pop songs.



But all is not lost. The revolution is just not televised in the mainstream. Small artisan labels like AUM Fidelity keep the flame burning with releases like the latest from David S. Ware and his reconstituted quartet. Gone are pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Guillermo E. Brown. Joining Ware and bassist William Parker are guitarist Joe Morris and drummer Warren Smith. The drummer, born in 1934, has been behind the kit for everyone from Sam Rivers, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and Bill Cole to Harry Partch. He supplies, along with Parker, a most solid platform for this recording. For his part, Joe Morris' guitar differs from Shipp's piano in his choice single note runs over the pianist huge chords.

Ware's career has taken him from early work with Cecil Taylor and Andrew Cyrille and recordings on Japan's DIW and Sweden's Silkheart records to a short stint at Columbia. He has always produced solid sessions, playing music that is seemingly larger than life. Shakti is Ware's twenty-third release as a leader and fourth for AUM.



With a recording like Shakti, it's sometimes not possible to take the entire recording in no matter how much distance is taken. Ware's voice, like that of Coltrane, can be at times daunting. Like Coltrane he has explored the outer reaches, done ballad sessions, and on Shakti sets his sights on India. The spiritual side of this record cannot be denied. The title track (in three parts) may be his A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964), transporting through distinct sections that raise the spiritual and the sanctified. Focusing on Ware's delivery—part Albert Ayler, part Sonny Rollins—should not mean neglecting Parker's energy. His firm hand on timekeeping deserves a separate spin just to focus on the colors his playing invents.



The ballad "Reflections" is a showcase for Smith's brushwork, playing opposite Ware's husky tone. His constant sweep of energy first propels Ware and later, Morris. "Namah" is a highlight, opening with Ware's kalimba before he picks up his saxophone to play some breathtakingly immaculate notes. This purity along with his capacity to present a very coherent sound throughout, makes for a very satisfying record.


Track Listing: Crossing Samsara; Nataraj; Reflection; Namah; Antidromic; Shakti: Durga, Devi, Kali.

Personnel: David S. Ware: tenor saxophone, kalimba; Joe Morris: guitar, percussion; William Parker: bass; Warren Smith: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity | 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 "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Breaking Point" CD/LP/Track Review Breaking Point
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Enter the PlusTet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the PlusTet
by Troy Collins
Published: October 23, 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!