The last recording of the legendary David S. Ware Quartet with bassist William Parker, drummer Guillermo E. Brown, and pianist Matthew Shipp performing live in Vilnius in 2007.
Limited edition 1000 copies
Catalog ID: NB LP4/5
Squidco Product Code: 15260
Format: 2 LPs
Packaging: 2 LPs
Recorded March 24th, 2007 at Lithuanian Russian Drama Theatre by NGR.
David S. Ware-tenor saxophone
Guillermo E. Brown-drums
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Ganesh Sound 17:25
Theme of Ages 15:46
Mikuro's Blues 6:15
The Stargazers 22:15
The Stargazers (continues) 4:45
Lithuanian Whirl 11:20
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Limited Editions & Out of Print
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"We are happy to introduce a new piece of music of the planetary value and significance - the last recording of the legendary David S. Ware Quartet. The performance took place in Vilnius in March 2007 and will be remembered among the most exciting musical acts ever. It's our pleasure to deliver this music as a double recording to a wider audience worldwide and share the joy with you!" -NoBusiness
"David S. Ware's new group with guitarist Joe Morris, bassist William Parker and drummer Warren Smith made some very impressive music on last year's Shakti. But that disc had a tentative quality, as though the bandmembers were feeling their way into a performing rapport, using easy grooves and simple melodies to bolster their largely horizontal improvisations. With his long-standing quartet, Ware was a different man - possessed of a leonine confidence and a staggering tone and power, he seemed to combine lungs the size of beer kegs with a Zen master's discipline, never blowing an unnecessary or gratuitously attenuated note.
This double vinyl release documents that group's final concert, recorded on 24 March 2007 in Lithuania, and it's almost overwhelming. The band is so unified that their improvisations feel like compositions - not because of predictability, but telepathy. The opening trio section of "Ganesh Sound" is a massive, throbbing roar, sent into the stratosphere when Ware enters. The intensity is maintained for 17-plus minutes, leading into a tree-uprooting, wall-collapsing version of "Theme of Ages." A gently swinging "Mikuro's Blues" seems almost like a respite, leading into a near half-hour version of Sun Ra's "The Stargazers," the performance's centerpiece and highlight, on which pianist Matthew Shipp seems to be playing a celeste as William Parker offers some of the most subtle accompaniment of his career and drummer Guillermo Brown rattles hand-held percussion.
At about the five-minute mark, the composition proper begins. Brown hits the toms like John Bonham, and with Elvin Jones dead, he's got the heaviest kick-drum in jazz; Parker throbs like a tyrannosaurus heart; and Shipp dominates the keyboard's low end with Gothic fervor. Ware doesn't enter until nearly ten minutes into the piece, but when he does the intensity ratchets up again, to a level it's hard to believe they can sustain...and yet they do. The improvised "Lithuanian Whirl" begins with three minutes of unaccompanied saxophone, followed by a four-minute Shipp solo, then another four minutes of Ware. The concluding version of "Surrendered" crashes like waves on the rocks, a suitably thunderous conclusion to this band's epic musical journey."-Phil Freeman, The Wire, 2009
Limited edition 1000 copies
• Show Bio for Matthew Shipp
"Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.
Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted."-Matthew Shipp Website (http://www.matthewshipp.com/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for William Parker
"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."
In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.
Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
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