David S. Ware New Quartet – Théâtre Garonne, 2008

David S. Ware New Quartet – Théâtre Garonne, 2008

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[AUM113] (DSW-ARC05) - CD in deluxe 6-panel digipak

David S. Ware: tenor saxophone, compositions
Joe Morris: guitar
William Parker: bass
Warren Smith: drums

This is the fifth edition in the DSW-ARC Series, which was launched in 2015. On its release this year (2019) we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of his birth.. David S. Ware was a master saxophonist of the highest order, and an unparalleled sonic alchemist of the modern jazz era. Théâtre Garonne, 2008 presents a luminous concert from a transitional period in David S. Ware’s ever-creative life. His 17-year-longstanding Quartet with Matthew Shipp & William Parker, which had achieved a naturally ascendant worldwide acclaim, performed their final concerts on a triumphal European tour in March 2007. Knowing that this end was coming, David had already begun writing new compositions and conceptualizing what would become his new quartet. The first iteration of this group – foundationally with guitarist Joe Morris – debuted at New York’s Iridium jazz club in mid-July. The group was made whole with Ware’s stalwart musical companion William Parker back on bass and fellow master musician Warren Smith on drums.

As had been Ware’s method with his Quartet, the group worked the new material live on stage together toward a studio recording thereof. That session took place in May 2008, and the album Shakti was the gorgeous result. The change from Shipp’s 88 keys to Morris’ cleanly articulated lines on 6 strings played a substantial role in the resulting sound. The density of much of Ware’s classic Quartet work gave way for a more ready hearing to the nuance & focus on melody which is intrinsic to all his work.

Riding a musical high, the DSW New Quartet flew to France later that same month for a concert at the welcoming environs of Théâtre Garonne. They performed bountifully expanded and wholly re-arranged versions of compositions from the Shakti session, as well as the equally gripping “Durga” which is previously unissued in any form. The release of this beautiful concert gracefully doubles the work available by the group, which may well have continued developing were it not for the exceptionally urgent health concerns just on the horizon. A kidney transplant in May 2009 allowed for the final astonishing phase of David’s work, all of which was created spontaneously in open form. Together with Shakti before it, this release presents the last of Ware’s pre-composed & wonderfully indelible themes to be used as springboards for illuminated performance.

As Joe Morris recalls in the liner notes: “I remember my experience on stage during this performance. As I played and listened I was aware that I was awed by the unlimited power in the sound and the melodies coming out of David’s horn. David’s playing here transcends his struggles, and like every one of his performances offers us a means to overcome our own.'

It brings great pleasure – as ever – to present this priceless work. –SJ 

1. Crossing Samsara part 1 - 15:08
2. Crossing Samsara part 2 - 11:17
3. Durga - 17:41
4. Reflection - 11:40
5. Namah - 2:34
6. Samsara (reprise) - 5:05

All compositions by David S. Ware,
published by Gandharvasphere/Daswa (ASCAP)

Recorded live in performance at Théâtre Garonne
in Toulouse, France on May 24, 2008
Live Sound & Mix Engineer: Bernard Levejac
Concert produced by Théâtre Garonne
Produced for release by Steven Joerg,
in cooperation with Setsuko S. Ware
Liner notes by Joe Morris & Steven Joerg
Images & design by Ming@AUM