Ware in the World


David S. Ware
Flight of I
DIW : 1992

DSW, tenor sax; Matthew Shipp, piano; William Parker, bass; Marc Edwards, drums.

The David S. Ware Quartet was the great working group of the 1990s. Given how much this band touches on the key tropes of D:O — forging links between New Thing and old traditions; melding beauty with brawn; making the band primary over I’m-up-now-you-hang-back individualism – it’s surprising how long it has taken us to feature them. While our favorite configuration of the quartet featured drummer extraordinaire Susie Ibarra, it’s impossible to argue with the overall excellence of Flight of I.

“Aquarian Sound” is the sort of cut you could play for someone who just touched down from the interstellar low ways and had no idea what jazz was. The first few minutes would give her a good grounding. Everyone here sounds great, but pianist Matthew Shipp makes the grandest statement, both ryhthmically inventive and insistently dramatic. Those that dig this tune would do well to check out the half-hour workout it gets on the three-disc concert set Live in the World.

“Yesterdays” features the quartet thoroughly reimagining the Jerome Kern standard. Ware teases out the notes, tunneling his way into the DNA of the song, organically transforming the ballad into a pulsing wail — and then returning it to its original shape. This isn’t some clever academic deconstruction that winks at the song structure, but an actual reanimating and reimbodying of the notes themselves. It’s a genunine Body Snatcher moment. Which of course we mean as the highest compliment.

As many of you know, David S. Ware hasn’t been well for some time. He was desperately in need of a new kidney and fortunately a donor recently came through for him. Extreme gratitude is due to Laura Mehr. For the latest updates on Ware’s health, be sure to visit the AUM Fidelity-hosted health update page.

More Ware links:
-Perfect Sound Forever interview (1988);
-Amazingly comprehensive DSW sessionography;
-Do check Ware’s fascinating recent output at AUM;
-Signal to Noise profile [pdf] (2005);
-Brian Morton on the Ware Qt [pdf], The Nation (2005);
-The Wire profile (1999);
-Bill Shoemaker on Ware, Jazz Times (1998).

Discussion5 Comments Category David S. Ware Tags , , , , , ,

5 Responses to Ware in the World

  1. Great record. “Aquarian Sound” is simply glorious.

  2. another, as usual, fine post. nice choice of tunes too – aquarian sound opens with such a thick, deep Parker bass line – I love it. I don’t have this disc, but it is great to hear this organic take on Yesterdays. Ware can make some crazy stuff out of standards and covers – I’ve always really enjoyed his dismantling rearraging and sort of tortured take of The Way We Were on Go See the World. thanks for the post – here’s to hoping he’s alright.

  3. Nice blog post and nice blog too! Thank you for the link.

    DSW is like Miles in that even his bands are full of stellar people.

  4. I just put up today is on David S Ware (in partial response to the great tunes you posted here last week). the site is called Disguised Gods In Skullduggery Rendez-Vous, and the link is here, if anyone is interested.


  5. Agreed. The David S. Ware Quartet was THE great working group of the 1990s. Heard the band with Susie Ibarra on drums. A powerful and revelatory music experience, one that I’ll never forget.

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