One of the greatest dancehall videos on YouTube… Precious dancehall history on YouTube… In the early ’70s, the People’s National Party (PNP) and Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) began […]
The David S. Ware Quartet in the 1990s: Deep jazz from a dormant period
- CD /
- Jazz /
- Live Performance
Listen to one of the great jazz quartets from the CD era.
The 1990s will never be known as a decade of great jazz. An era in which Wynton Marsalis dominated the conversation, in part by vocally dismissing free jazz and the avant garde as a destructive force, jazz in the ’90s was eclipsed by innovations in hip hop, electronic music, and experimental rock. The young crowd, which had been jazz’s fuel until the 1970s, was looking elsewhere for their shock-of-the-new sounds.
That said, nobody bothered to inform the crowds at the Knitting Factory and Tonic, two New York venues that render moot the notion that jazz was dead in the ’90s. John Zorn’s Tzadik label released so much great music through the decade that catching up with it all would take daily listening for a year. (It’s possible! Used Tzadik CDs — Tzadik didn’t do vinyl or cassette — are abundant and inexpensive on Discogs.)
This post is about the David S. Ware Quartet, one of the great foursomes of the decade: Saxophonist Ware, bassist William Parker, pianist Matthew Shipp and various drummers including Guillermo Brown, Whit Dickey, and Susie Ibarra.
Instead of pontificating, let’s move through the quartet one by one. Here’s a solo Matthew Shipp clip.
Here’s contra bass player William Parker alone onstage.
Drummer Susie Ibarra (yes, we’re playing favorites. When I saw the Quartet, she was on drums and floored me) has never played on a bad record:
That trio of backing players established, here’s Ware leading them. The caption to the video identifies this as being from 2009, but that’s wrong. Though we can’t lock in a date, it’s likely from the late 1990s or early ’00s. At an hour long, it’s a beast that sounds as vital and timeless now as it did when it was created.
Hot tip: Because this was the ’90s, most of the music released by members of this quartet was released on CD. It’s incredibly inexpensive to compile a remarkable collection right now; in five years this stuff will likely cost much more to obtain.
Recent favorites from Chicago, Brooklyn, New Zealand, Basque, Amsterdam, Munich, Tokyo, and Sweden. Each week the global listening community gets bombarded with new releases, reissues and restocks. As […]
The jazz supergroup features Benji B, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, and more. The new double album London Brew was originally slated to be a 50th anniversary ode to […]
In 1964 as the Beatles were going viral among the kids and remaking youth culture along the way, Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy were ferrying the adults to […]
The long out-of-print holy grail private press album is finally being reissued on vinyl. One of the best parts of being a music freak is having your brain chemistry forever […]
John Jones in conversation with South of North founder Dominik Rodemann. I was first introduced to the Amsterdam-based label South of North by way of their 2018 debut […]