Sunday, February 12, 2012

David S. Ware: Organica

David S. Ware (sax)
Organica (Aum Fidelity; 2011)

Organica is the second volume in a series of solo saxophone performances that the great David S. Ware has begun to record and is even more amazing than the first outing. Recorded live over the course of 2010 at two separate performances in Brooklyn and Chicago, Ware illustrates why he is one of the most technically proficient and exciting free-thinkers on the scene today.

Both performances feature two selections ("Minus Gravity," "Organica"). The concept other than the fact it is a solo performance, is Ware's use of multiple saxophones. For these concerts, Ware's main instruments are the sopranino and tenor. "Minus Gravity" is the more intimate piece of the two on both evenings. Ware uses the sopranino here and it provides a more clear and high tone that gives the piece a lot of air to breathe. In addition it allows "Minus Gravity" becomes more of a spiritual journey.

The difference in the performances can be felt in the intimacy of the rooms and production. The first performance in Brooklyn feels closer and deep. The Chicago show has a little more distance but still travels along a heavenly vibe, and the both versions have wonderful cascading endings that are sublime.

"Organica" is the more free moving and improvised of the two numbers. On tenor this time, Ware shows why he is one the most creative players about a quarter of the way through when he switches direction from moves up and down through about two or three cords. It may seems like screeches to the uninitiated but to the Ware fans at heart this is pure mystification. Ware gets more expressive and humorous as the piece enters its middle section before it's return to a settled and constructive conclusion.

The Chicago version feels dense and reflects an almost blues tone to it. There's a lot more emotion in the power laid into this evening's version than Brooklyn. The notes are short, sharp and tense. Ware seems to have found a groove that makes a definite impact from start to finish in Chicago.

Organica is an explosive and emotional recording. A real lesson on what a solo performance is suppose to feel like. And a superb treat for fans of David S. Ware. An artist who seems to go from strength to strength. 

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