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SoundGround >> David S. Ware - R.I.P.

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12/28/12 10:04 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 12/28/12 10:05 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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I meant to write something a little while back, when I first heard. But even after a few weeks, I don't know much what to say except... I liked this guy a lot. He made some really good records. His output was uneven, but when it he was great, he was really great. A "free jazz" saxophonist who died, October 18, 2012. He had kidney failure, after a transplant over ten years ago.

Here's the NY Times obituary: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/arts/music/david-s-ware-adventurous-saxophonist-dies-at-62.html?_r=0


The term "free jazz" is old, now, being associated with Ornette Coleman in the late 1950s and then a flowering scene in the 1960s. And usually it means someting unlistenable when used these days. Sort of what is parodied in the Fear song "New York's Alright (If You Like Saxophones)" which I posted earlier. But there was some musicians, and especially saxophonists, who really did find that shamanic/ecstatic feeling that only rarely get with drugs or sex or spiritual practice or... soemtimes... music. And after the first generation of Coleman and Coltrane and Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler and a few others... there was precious little that sounded even sincere. Ware was one.

I posted about William Parker on another thread. Parker (on bass) and pianist Matthew Shipp were half of Ware's longstanding quartet (with a series of drummers -- all of whom were really great, in fact). It's those people who made me figure out that Ware was for real. If musicians *that* good took him as a leader, he must not be bullshitting. Sometimes it takes that for me to wake up enough to pay attention. And now.... I wish he were here. I don't find very much about him that's interesting other than the music. And that's fitting. He was a musician. To me, at his best, he was the sound of boundaries dissolving.

12/29/12 9:43 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 12/29/12 9:46 PM
Member Since: 4/5/10
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Ali, here's something I found from Ware that starts off with a very "Love Supreme" kind of vibe to it & then gets way out there.  Although it's got a very Trane-ish Classic Quartet feel to it, Ware & his band put their own stamp on it. 

I appreciate you turning me on to Ware, Parker, & Shipp.  RIP Ware, but at lease Parker & Shipp are still around.  Hopefully they make it out to Denver sometime.

12/30/12 4:59 AM
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Ali
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Thanks Hugo -- I hadn't seen that one. Surprisingly. I'm so glad I got to see it now! Hear it, especially.

That's something else. A " of music that died in the 1960s, pretty much.... and then there was another generation, mostly in the 1990s, that "got it".

The poster boys for saxophone, for a while (at least within this later generation of free jazz) were Ware and Charles Gayle. Gayle is way more "outside", much of his stuff is really hard to listen to. Gayle was specifically a Coltrane acolyte. His most celebrated record was "Touchin' On Trane" (And I dare say, it's the only of his records I can listen to, from the 4 or 5 I've heard). Ware would talk about his forbear being Sonny Rollins. The other Titan of that generation.

My guess is that Ware idolized a bunch of folks... and he got to meet and hang with and take some lessons with Sonny Rollins. So Rollins became "it" for him. To me he SOUNDS a lot more like Coltrane. He sounds more like Coltrane than he does Rollins. And he sounds more like Coltrane than Gayle does.

But both of them sound like a narrow band of Coltrane's output. Just sayin'.

Still, Ware is very suggestive of apiritual questing, of altered states of consciousness, of various sorts of vocalizing, crying out to the infinite or desolate moaning about his own separation and finitude...

Sorry. I'm not too articulate about all that. Ware is really not articulate about that at all in interviews. It sounds like strings of cliches. But he, at least, got it across with the reed in his mouth. I hear generations upon generations of sorrow, and moments of transcendent bliss, in that damn clip you posted. And more basically, the sound of a man broken and also a man overcoming.
12/31/12 12:06 AM
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ShakeNBake
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RIP
12/31/12 5:34 PM
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hugomma
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I found a Part 2 to the Vilnius show, but YouTube is acting up & won't play it.  Will check it out later. 

Happy New Year everyone!  If there's an all star afterlife jam, I hope David Ware gets to rip it up with all the other greats.


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