202

David S. Ware: Shakti

By

Sign in to view read count
David S. Ware: Shakti David S. Ware's Shakti, his first release since the dissolution of his longstanding quartet, is an outstanding addition to the saxophonist's already extraordinary discography. Ware is reunited with bassist William Parker (a member of the earlier quartet, who goes back to Ware's very first recordings as a leader), with veteran Warren Smith seated in the drum chair formerly occupied by Susie lbarra, Marc Edwards, Whit Dickey and Guillermo E. Brown and, perhaps most notably, idiosyncratic guitarist Joe Morris taking on the chordal role previously handled by pianist Matthew Shipp. It is the clean luminous tone that Morris evinces from his instrument (a somewhat rare quality from an avant-garde guitarist) that distinguishes this group from the preceding one - giving it an airier sound.

Ware himself is still a commanding presence, playing with the spiritually driven cosmic energy that the date's title implies. The opening "Crossing Samsara" begins with an appealing free-bopping motif from which Ware launches into an unrestrained improvisation hearkening to his trinity of well-known influences - Rollins, Ayler and Coltrane - at times taking on the sound of a gospel-toned preaching saxophonist. Morris proves to be an excellent foil, twisting crystalline lines around the rolling rhythms of Parker and Smith, the latter a painterly texturalist who may be the most sympathetic drummer the unit has had yet. The 18-plus minute "Nataraj" opens with a repeated bass ostinato that leads into an Ornette-ish dirge, with Morris playing a "Lonely Woman"-like line behind Ware's dark brooding tenor. "Reflection" is a melancholic conversation, first between the leader and Parker and then Morris and the bassist, steadily underpinned by Smith's tasteful commentary.

"Namah" begins with Ware on kalimba and Morris playing percussion, Parker bowing bass and Smith playing the colorist on drums and cymbals prior to the leader's evocation of a prayerful melody and an extended improvisation in which he wrestles some very voice-like testimonials from his horns. The repetitive Monk-ish melody "Antidromic," first heard on 1997's Wisdom Of Uncertainty date, is given a well- deserved reprise, the whole band in inspired abandon. The concluding title suite begins with "Durga," an Ayler-ish call-and-response fanfare with guitar as the second voice, and moves, with a superb drum interlude, into the alluring deliberate line "Devi," serving as a bridge to the final movement "Kali," a freewheeling improvisation of transcendental dimensions. Taken as a whole, Shakti is one Ware's finest efforts yet, one that introduces an important new unit with what one hopes is a bright future.


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: 2009 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Ludwigsburg Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Ludwigsburg Concert
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "ReNew" CD/LP/Track Review ReNew
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Araminta" CD/LP/Track Review Araminta
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 9, 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!