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David S. Ware: Surrendered

Glenn Astarita By

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We’re delighted that saxophonist David S. Ware continues to record for “Columbia Records” as modern jazz stylists of Ware’s magnitude do need all the exposure they can muster, yet we might also be cautiously optimistic about his future with the label which is of course, totally sales driven! With Surrendered, the saxophonist follows up his rather explosive and slightly raucous “Columbia” debut titled, Go See The World !

Here, Ware continues to work with his esteemed associates, - pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker while drummer Guillermo E. Brown replaces Susie Ibarra in the band as matters get off to a rousing and somewhat enthusiastic start with the opener, “Peace Celestial”. On this piece, Ware blows soul-searching lines amid Shipp’s – touching –and thoroughly melodic chord progressions as this composition rekindles some of the motifs, Pharoah Sanders and Coltrane were exploring during their collaboration. Yet, from the onset it becomes rather clear that Ware and company have offset their ordinarily combustible or high-octane free-jazz approach with compositions that contain a bit more structure amid slightly temperate group dialogue and Wares often-fiery sense of the dynamic. Again, the band’s approach is a bit less volcanic as they pursue radiant lyricism and swinging rhythms on saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s “Sweet Georgia Bright”, featuring Ware’s enigmatic spirit and unruffled raw power. The musicians continue their plight on “Theme Of Ages” where Ware blows down the roof atop Shipp’s swirling chord clusters and probing, underlying themes while Parker and Brown provide hearty and sympathetic support throughout!

The crowning highlight of this fine recording is the band’s 16-minute rendition of Beaver Harris’ composition, “African Drums” which boasts a bouncy and enticingly melodic theme driven by an altogether continuous flow. Without a doubt, this piece serves as a near-perfect vehicle for Ware’s husky, buzz-saw style of execution as the saxophonist works his cavernous lower registers intermingled with upper register peaks. Hence, this performance alone provides insight into the artist’s distinctive craft. All in all, Surrendered might truly represent one of Ware’s finest recordings to date as no two songs sound alike which makes for a divergent and noteworthy mix while Steven Joerg’s sharp and insightful production only enhances the overall scenario. In any event, if you’ve been a bit skittish or reluctant to delve into David S. Ware’s musical world, Surrendered might signify an appropriate place to start.

* * * * (out of * * * * *)


Title: Surrendered | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Cristal Records

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