Tuesday, January 20, 2009

David S. Ware - Shakti (AUM Fidelity, 2009) ****½

Let's remain in India for a while, and also with David S. Ware, who despite his disease, keeps being productive, and not only that, he keeps delivering high quality. I may be wrong, but I think this is the first CD ever in David S Ware's long discography without keyboards, originally that position was held by Cooper-More, later Matthew Shipp, but the harmonic instrument is now Joe Morris's guitar, an interesting choice which gives the music a new dimension. William Parker is on bass as usual, but now Warren Smith plays drums. Changing the piano for the guitar does not only give the music an overall lighter, less dramatic touch, it also reduces the density of the music, as Morris does not regularly plays accompanying chords. But most important of all, Ware's sax-playing sounds warmer, less angry, more composed, yet as passionate as before. And the combination works well because of the contrast between the depth of Ware's tenor and the single note runs by Morris, and both are very melodious and lyrical, which is especially for Morris a great thing to hear. Warren Smith also creates a difference, he has a light and subtle touch, playing very creatively. And Parker ... well, there's no comparison, powerful and precise, emotional and outside, adding unusual but the right touches, whether pizzi or arco. And Ware gives his fellow musicians also space to improvise, which was not always the case on other releases. The album's relative calm and controlled atmosphere does increase the tension, together with the emotional power and spirituality. One minor thing: I hate fade-outs, especially in the middle of a solo which sounds great. One more great album of the same high level as most of his impressive discography.

Listen to samples and buy from AUM Fidelity.

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© stef

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for that goddamn paycheck, it's time to go shopping at Aum again! :)

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