David S. Ware: saxello, stritch, tenor sax
"He improvises three pieces that are built like fine architecture, with one musical brick fitting beautifully atop the next to make a cohesive and thoughtful whole. There is nothing rushed here, the music is patient and distinguished, and Ware's beautiful golden tone, echoing the masters like Hawkins, Coltrane and Rollins, shines like the light from a powerful star." –Tim Niland, JazzAndBlues
Recorded live in concert at the Abrons Arts Center, NYC on October 15, 2009, Saturnian documents master saxophonist David S. Ware's triumphant return to the stage following his kidney transplant in May 2009. This performance prompted features in The New York Times and on NBC Nightly News.
Ware, in full peak of form, performed three extended pieces, each one on a different horn. "Methone" is on saxello and "Pallene" features the stritch. David played these lesser-known members of the saxophone family for many decades, and recorded with them in the late 80s, but this concert was the very first time he performed on them in concert. The final piece, "Anthe" was on his main axe, the tenor sax.
“To perform solo saxophone is who I have always been,” wrote Ware in the liner notes to the CD edition. “This is the way I’ve practiced all of these years, as though I am performing a solo. It is just as satisfying as playing in any other context. The freedom allows you to witness and solidify what is passing through. There’s a voice inside each saxophone, expressing different orders of Being." And, in direct instruction to listeners of this work: "When you listen, learn to open your third ear. Listen for the voice inside the music. It will expand who you think you are.”
This was the first volume in a planned series of new solo saxophone recordings.
Volume two, Organica, was made in 2010.
"Hyper-dextrous and playing at the speed of thought; focused and fully energized." –David Keenan, The Wire (full page review)
"It is a record of hope and impeccable happiness that transmutes trial and trauma into virtuoso leaps of the soul. There is nothing dry about this outing, however cerebral. It is funky and down-home bluesy. Ware leaves no one out of the conversation, us or his precursors, who are brought to life holographically in a virtual symphony of synecdoche - that is, in stylistic hints that bring them present together in full - perpetuating an intergenerational chain, a gush of black gold we may hope is never capped. –Gordon Marshall, All About Jazz-New York
"Saturnian is some of the greatest Ware on record—and considering the health precipice he was recently on, that's an extra heavy achievement." –Clifford Allen, All About Jazz
"4 Stars. A sense of solemnity as well as joy frames this work, the personality of the artist towering and immense, any claim to the status of contemporary saxophone colossus one to be taken seriously." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise
"Each performance on Saturnian is magisterial and profoundly moving." –Phil Freeman, Jazziz
1. Methone (saxello) - 14:25
2. Pallene (stritch) - 12:38
3. Anthe (tenor) - 11:42
All compositions by David S. Ware,
© Gandharvasphere/Daswa (ASCAP)
The entire October 15, 2009 concert performance
at Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street, NYC
Recording & mastering engineer: Petr Cancura
Concert & Album Produced by Steven Joerg
Thank You: Laura Mehr, Jay Wegman, Petr Cancura
Concert photography by John Rogers
Liner notes by DSW