David S Ware/Planetary Unknown - Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011 (5 stars)

Free jazz with a strong connection to folk and gospel roots from new quartet

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David S Ware/Planetary Unknown - Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011

(Aum Fidelity)

‘Out, push it all out into the unknown! Unknown is best’. How apt that Edwin Morgan’s poem ‘At Eighty’ should come to mind upon hearing this extraordinary set from David S Ware’s new quartet. Their elevated group playing is testament to the power and possibility of improvised music. Pianist Cooper-Moore is a brilliant foil to Ware, laying prickly thickets of pointillist harmony under the saxophonist’s ecstatic flights of lyricism. When drummer Muhammad Ali briefly settles into a funk groove, Cooper-Moore juxtaposes it with an eerie Wu-Tang like figure. This is free jazz with a strong connection to folk and gospel roots; witness the gorgeous blues Ware blows over William Parker’s theremin-like bowed bass. From the Mississippi delta to outer space, unknown is best indeed.

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