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Thursday, January 9, 2003

Review - Freedom Suite

Artist: David S. Ware Quartet

Posted on Thu, Jan 9, 2003 at 4:00 AM

The continued implication that free jazz is a fraud perpetrated by history-deficient no-talents gets another smackdown thanks to David Ware. Well known for his blistering improvisations, Ware daringly decides to take on Sonny Rollins' legendary "Freedom Suite" as a basis for his quartet to shine. Ware is ably assisted by Matthew Shipp and William Parker -- two players with a history of paint-peeling freedom -- on piano and bass, as well as rock-solid drummer Guillermo E. Brown, whose own solo work veers more toward the funk spot. Were this group to be, in fact, history-deficient no-talents, it's doubtless that this CD would have wound up being a skronky mess. And though Ware does take frequent flights of fancy (the first within two bars of the opening), his solos -- and those of the rest of the quartet -- are all quite restrained and do much justice to the original work. Though the group obviously recognizes "Freedom Suite" for the political statement Rollins intended it to be, the work is less a clarion call than it is a celebration.

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