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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

David S. Ware - Renunciation (Aum Fidelity, 2007) ****

Last year's Balladware was relatively soft and accessible, some of David S. Ware's albums in the past were relatively hard (but rewarding), this one might even convince those not entirely convinced by the concept of free jazz. Ware is accompanied by some of his usual partners, Matthew Shipp on piano, Guillermo E. Brown on drums and William Parker on bass, all top-notch players to say the least. The album was recorded live at the Vision Festival in New York in 2006, and it is magnificent. You can hear these guys have played for years together and anticipate each other's moves. "Ganesh Sound", the first piece, brings a slow and melodic piano line over which Ware floats so spiritually with a deep yet expansive tone, melodic too, but harsher, crying, shouting over the melody without disturbing it. The "Renunciation Suite" falls into three pieces, the first one intervallic, with unaccompanied solos of Ware on sax alternating with Shipp, Brown and Parker playing as a band, which gives the strange impression of strangers meeting on a road and starting a conversation, sometimes agitated, sometimes subdued, sometimes sad, moving into a more boppish mode, with Shipp exploring some dissonant sounds at times plucking the strings of his piano directly, again in call and response with David S. Ware. The second part is more fierce and intense abstract interplay, leading into a calmer third part, but no less intense, entirely made up of complex piano and arco bass interplay. And that's possibly the best aspect of this album, that Ware gives ample space to his bandmates, something which has not always been the case in the past (I should check but I think that on Live In The World, his triple live album, Ware can be heard at all times!). "Mikuro's Blues" is a blues indeed, but transformed in an interesting way, with repetitive playing by Shipp. David S. Ware has made many albums, using various angles of approach, such as including electronics, or referencing to tradition, or just organizing some hard blowing fests, and most of them are worth hearing, but he's always at his best in a live context, with the audience playing a key role as enthusiastic response mechanism, and this album should not be missed.

This CD can be downloaded from