Reviews - DAVID S. WARE Quartet.
Wisdom Of Uncertainty (AUM001)
'One Of The Top Releases of 1997' : The WIRE (UK) & JAZZ Magazine (France)

'Top 10 Critics Picks 1997' : JAZZIZ

SOUNDBOARD (now known as Signal To Noise) Nov/Dec 1997
NEW YORK IS NOW! Ornette Coleman's 1968 sentiment has become increasingly re-relevant as a description of the NYC creative jazz scene, where a focused group of intelligent and exciting musicians are creating some of the most challenging sounds heard in this decade. At the forefront of this scene presides the David S. Ware Quartet, whose new recording Wisdom Of Uncertainty (the Aum Fidelity label's inaugural release) builds upon the continuum of their well-documented work. While in the past Ware's recordings mixed blowing improvisations with re-interpreted standards, Wisdom Of Uncertainty explores more melody-based original compositions, perhaps creating the standards of the future. From the opening notes of "Acclimation" to the slowly escalating nobility of "Utopic"; from the unhinged blues of "Alignment" to the spacious, minor-key elegance of "Sunbows Rainsets Blue", Ware (tenor saxophone), Matthew Shipp (piano), William Parker (bass) and Susie Ibarra (drums) forge an interactively majestic sound world of abounding beauty and contour. Yet even though the compositions found here are slightly more structured in nature, the group's assiduous spontaneity simply refuses to be compromised--resulting in multi-dimensional tunes that are simultaneously assertive and memorable. In all, Wisdom Of Uncertainty is a fascinating piece of music and an unhesitatingly solid entry into the David S. Ware recorded canon. -Scott Hreha

February 1998 One of the most powerful saxophonists alive, Ware is a giant, a Godzilla with a horn. His quartet is a kind of Outcat All-Stars, featuring pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker, easily two of the most inventive, exploratory and exciting musicians alive, and up-and-coming thunderbolt Susie lbarra on drums. Do I unconditionally recommend anything this group do? Hell, yes. Though the group don't swing in the conventional sense, even their most arrhythmic eruptions are anchored to the feeling of blues so integral to jazz. It is this feeling that binds Ware into the tradition of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and others who at one time or another were all considered too 'out there.' Ware and Shipp also are far too interested in melody to let dissonance rule their music unopposed. On each piece they pull and prod at the themes, rigorously examining them from every angle possible. In a sense the Ware group do for post-Coltrane free jazz what Coltrane did for bebop or what Hendrix did for electric blues-rock. Should you listen? If you give a damn about modern music, hell, yes. -David Reitzes

David S. Ware Quartet Wisdom Of Uncertainty CD The new music! As we speak, skate/surf/jai-alai video makers the nation over are hotwiring their action to this action, thug guards are overtaking the city streets parade/riot style with "east-side freedom" banners blasting out their blown boombox speakercones, and deeper churches are cracking open building funds and and setting aside large chunks of Sunday morning worshipping to this till the people get out of the pews and on their faces. Tracks like "Alignment," "Continuum" and "Acclimation" are the kind of manifestos you want plastered all over your bedroom, and I'd bet a large sack of nickels, " Sunbows Rainsets Blue" will make you cry everytime you listen. So listen. -Glen Galaxy

Visceral , relentless, cathartic, squalling-many of the words that have long been associated with saxophonist David S. Ware's recordings and performances apply as well to his new album. Suffice to say, this is not music for the tame-hearted. The sheer force of his tone-and his seemingly superhuman ability to sustain and manipulate irs raw emotional power-are a marvel to behold, perhaps more so now than ever. Yet any notions that Ware is working in a "free" zone, without a solid framework to support his ideas on "Wisdom," disappear as unifying themes resurface and the remarkable interplay with his bandmates comes in to sharper focus. Even without performing the occasional standard, the kind of familiar touchstone he's provided listeners in the past, Ware ultimately achieves a certain accessability on his own terms by pouring so much music through his horn, reaching back as far as ancient blues and gospel refrains for inspiration. Even so, because "Acclimation," "Utopic" and other pieces are nothing if not the product of a truly interactive band, it's impossible to separate Ware's bracing contributions from those of his gifted collaborators: pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer Susie Ibarra. -Mike Joyce

OPPROBRIUM #4 (New Zealand)
David S Ware Quartet Godspelized CD [DIW]; The Wisdm of Uncertainty CD [AUM Fidelity] The last few David S Ware albums have been in tone, import, and sheer sound-size so unfathomably large that the concept of "reviewing" them is so paradoxical it's nearly a Zen koan. Just remembering all of a Ware rec at once requires about an ocean's worth of RAM, and unless I suddenly win free cranial implants my brain will never be that big. I do recall that Ware's ballooning cries stretch the history of jazz note by note; that Susie Ibarra's shattering cymbals drench both discs; that Matthew Shipp's infinite piano is every thought I've wished I'd had; and that William Parker is the greatest human on earth. But world-wide amnesia couldn't erase the fact that these are great David S. Ware albums; so were those before it; so will be those that follow. Excepting perhaps tips on building a house-addition sufficient to hold these once and future masterworks, that's all anyone needs to know. -Marc Masters

The superb AUM Fidelity label plays a similar role in NYC, not only documenting, but also helping to define a scene that includes some of the most creative, inspired musicians in town. The first release, Wisdom Of Uncertainty, comes from the David S. Ware Quartet, a group that have been together for some time now, which is really the only way to reach the tremendous level of thoughtful interaction they've been able to achieve. It's a release that captures the group at the height of their powers and is not to be missed. -Chris Rice