David S. Ware: New Energy

Source: AUM Fidelity

I’m listening to Shakti, the much-lauded David S. Ware CD that officially got released this week, and I’m struck by the change in his style over the years. Shakti‘s quartet playing is still edgy but has such a warm, cushiony feel.

But wait — is this just me? I mean, I’ve recently sampled Dao and Cryptology, CDs from about 15 years ago: aggressive playing with pointy corners. Shakti is certainly different from that. But is it all that different from Ware’s work of five or even 10 years ago, when he got that brief contract with Columbia? Am I just being fooled because Matthew Shipp‘s marble-hall piano chords are replaced by Joe Morris‘ jazz guitar?

Time for a taste test. I go to Ware’s Live in the World and drop a 2003 disc into the CD player. I hit shuffle.

(OK, shuffle is bad: It picks “Lexicon,” three minutes of scorched-earth blasting. That’s the encore track, so it doesn’t count. Next.)

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