David S. Ware Saturnian: Solo Saxophone Vol. 1

This CD is a live recording of Ware's return to the stage after a serious illness, which resulted in a kidney transplant. Interestingly, the liner notes set the stage for how Ware approaches the solo context: "this is the way I practised all those years, as if I was performing a solo." No scales or arpeggiated chords here, just a consistent and insistent burrowing into the horn and the music that lies within the player and the instrument. It's an odd experience, as the listener feels more like a voyeur than a participant, unlike his ensemble works, which invite and welcome. Like all great solo works of focus and depth, the mind and personality of the performer are almost painfully revealed, and Ware's brush with mortality may have sparked a determined rededication to the art of the saxophone. This is a fine, focused piece of music. (Aum Fidelity)