Dao

Ware’s eleventh album as a leader and his only release on the Homestead label. Notably also the last album with Whit Dickey on the drums, Susie Ibarra would take over the seat thereafter. Other than that it is the usual quartet line-up with Matthew Shipp and William Parker. Reviewers have suggested that this is Ware’s “A Love Supreme” although my view is that wouldn’t come until “Surrendered” in 1999, three years after this release. There are clear references back to the Coltrane post Love Supreme approach although Ware takes matters beyond that envelope and his tone is notably more raw and unforgiving than ‘Tranes ever was. A times this is anguished music, relentlessly exploring options and opportunities, Ware is some times brutal, and at other times vulnerable.  There are no heads or melodies, it all seems spontaneous, and at times lacks structure but it holds the attention for it’s 72 minutes.

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