May 21, 2024

Website about Jazz and Blues

David S Ware – His impassioned, wounded-beast sound inspired a devoted following: Video

07.11. – Happy Birthday !!! David S Ware, the saxophonist whose monumental sound matched his physical stature, has died aged 62 following complications from a kidney transplant he underwent in 2009. Ware, who was mentored by Sonny Rollins and worked with the free-jazz piano virtuoso Cecil Taylor, was one of the few structure-busting radicals in jazz history to reach beyond the music’s cognoscenti without compromise.

His impassioned, wounded-beast sound inspired a devoted following, despite his rejection of the accessible song structures commonly used in jazz. The journalist Gary Giddins wrote in 2001: “Every time I see Ware’s group or return to the records, it flushes the competition from memory.” The film-maker David Lynch, whose foundation backed a recent documentary about Ware, simply marvelled: “How cool is cool?”

A first encounter with Ware’s music could be an intimidating experience. He seemed to have arrived from another dimension, unleashing an ambiguously pitched, bagpipe-like sound without obvious antecedents – though there were audible links with the saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

A profoundly religious man, and a lifelong practitioner of yoga and meditation, Ware was preoccupied with nothing less than humanity’s place in the cosmos – he often seemed to be stretching for a musical equivalent to the heat and raw noise of the universe in transition or, as he put it in a conversation with Rollins in 2005, “musically to go so deep that you touch upon those universal forces”. On another occasion, he observed that the improvising strategy of his early years was simply to “come out blasting … like I was coming out of a cannon”.

Ware was born and raised in New Jersey. From the age of 10, he played alto, baritone and tenor saxophone. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1967 to 1969 and formed the Boston-based free-jazz group Apogee, including the pianist Cooper-Moore and the drummer Marc Edwards. But if he was already indifferent to conventional jazz storytelling, or the principles of tension and release, Ware was far from indifferent to saxophone expertise.

Having introduced himself to Rollins on a Manhattan street corner in 1969, he began to study advanced techniques – and discussed eastern religion and spiritual perspectives in the context of extended breath control – with the jazz superstar in the latter’s Brooklyn apartment. In 1973 Rollins even engaged Apogee as a support band on one of his appearances at the Village Vanguard in New York – a piece of bold patronage that did not go down universally well with his fans.

In 1974 he performed in an orchestra led by Taylor at Carnegie Hall. Through the 1970s, Ware was involved with the popular loft-jazz scene in New York and worked regularly with Taylor’s sidemen Raphe Malik (trumpet) and Andrew Cyrille (drums). After beginning to record under his own name, and working with the bebop pianist Barry Harris, he embarked on a 14-year stretch (1981-95) as a New York cab driver to pay the bills. During this period, he was sporadically active in Europe, and in 1988 he formed his most compatible band – with the bassist William Parker, who he had met in Taylor’s orchestra, the pianist Matthew Shipp and a succession of imaginative drummers.

The Swedish label Silkheart and the Japanese label DIW caught these musicians in scorching form. Ware had previously been too untamed a performer to reach beyond the niche audience, but broadening public tastes for ambient sounds, ethnic influences, improv and noise were joining a general upswing in jazz popularity during the 1990s. The saxophonist Branford Marsalis seized the moment to sign Ware to Columbia in 1997 for his first and only major-label deal. Though the albums Go See the World and Surrendered were not his strongest, they brought Ware an enthusiastic new public.

He recorded extensively for his manager Steven Joerg’s AUM Fidelity label from 2001, including a dramatic reworking of Rollins’s Freedom Suite and a magnificent, Coltrane-reminiscent live recording from the 2006 Vision festival in New York, Renunciation. Ware also recorded for the eclectic independent label Thirsty Ear, often confirming that his earlier full-on methods were changing in middle life. BalladWare (1999) included bittersweet reworkings of Autumn Leaves and Yesterdays; Threads (2003) explored a sonically subtle music with strings, and a belated but characteristically creative interest in more song-centred materials was plainly audible on a compilation of Swiss and Italian live shows, Live in the World (1998-2003).

Ware was in need of regular dialysis for kidney failure from the late 1990s, and in May 2009 Laura Mehr – whose late husband had been inspired by artistic and spiritual discussions with Ware 30 years earlier – donated a kidney when the saxophonist’s health hit crisis point. By October, Ware was back in action. He recorded several more albums, ending with Planetary Unknown: Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011. Ware was always unmistakably himself, embodying jazz’s drive towards independent creativity – unmoved by trends and eschewing imitation – in its purest form.

He is survived by his wife, Setsuko.

Картинки по запросу David S. Ware
Verified by MonsterInsights