David S. Ware: The Way We Were


The Way We Were


David S. Ware (tenor sax)


Go See the World (Columbia CK 69138)

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David S. Ware (tenor sax), Matthew Shipp (piano), William Parker (bass), Susie Ibarra (drums).

Recorded: New York, December 11-12, 1997


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

The sappy pop hit “The Way We Were” may seem like an odd platform for the free jazz saxophonist David S. Ware, but Ware was an odd signing for a mainstream label like Columbia. Ware’s quartet never eases into a song. Instead the group twists and turns and struggles to settle into it the way a fat man squeezes his body into a too-small airplane seat. Matthew Shipp pounds out chords, bassist William Parker and drummer Susie Ibarra brew up a storm, and Ware blows thunderbolts out of his sax; somewhere in the middle of it all you can almost make out the faint outline of the melody. For nearly 15 minutes they circle around it, just about touching it at times, and then they pull away, off on their own excursions again. It’s tough business when Ware’s quartet gets to work on a familiar tune. It’ll also blow your mind.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

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