David S. Ware Quartet Renunciation

News that the David S. Ware quartet’s appearance at the 2006 Vision Festival would be their final performance sent shockwaves among the free jazz community. Recent interviews with the band members suggest that the claims of the quartet’s death are premature but in any case, the valedictory note is unmistakable on this CD, recorded at the Vision Festival gig. Brooding, ragged march "Ganesh Sound” opens the set and is repeated at the end; Ware’s tenor solo on the first version is extraordinarily anguished, building up a tension only resolved by the much more serene reprise. The half-hour "Renunciation Suite” is a slow-mo collision of juggernauts, alternating between Ware’s solo sax and skewed piano trio episodes until there’s a terrific crunch in the middle. "Mikuro’s Blues” receives a fine reading, its odd metre groove, as always, giving bassist William Parker a chance to shine, and for an encore there’s bebop thrash miniature "Saturnian.” Not one of the band’s finest albums, perhaps, but a good way to bring their career to a (temporary?) close. (Aum Fidelity) (Aum Fidelity)