David S. Ware ‘Saturinian. Solo Saxophone Vol.1’ (Aum Fidelity) 3/5

This CD captures David S. Ware in a live performance at the Abrous Art Center and is a full-on solo saxophone performance from October 2009. There are only three extended pieces on offer and at forty minutes there could have been a more generous coupling for the listener, possibly with a trio or even quartet outing. Nonetheless for devotees of Ware, this will prove to be a rewarding experience. Ware introduces reed instruments that became famous with Roland Kirk in the 1960s and 1970s such as the stritch (a kind of elongated soprano saxophone for the uninitiated) and the less well known saxello. Far from being squawking melodic-free improvisations, there is a great deal of solemn reflection in ‘Anthe’ and even joyous gospel spirit in ‘Pallene’. Not for the faint hearted among saxophone aficionados, Ware is to be commended for his no holds barred approach and no attempt at any kind of compromise to commercial pressures whatsoever. His fans would expect no less.

Tim Stenhouse