David S. Ware Quartet – Freedom Suite I. (2002)

From the album Freedom Suite by David S. Ware Quartet. Recorded on July 13, 2002 at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn.

Composed by Sonny Rollins, arranged by David S. Ware.
David S. Ware – tenor sax
Matthew Shipp – piano
William Parker – bass
Guillermo E. Brown – drums

Recorded by Jim Anderson

Tracks on album: Freedom Suite Movement 1 / Interlude / Freedom Suite Movement 2 / Freedom Suite Movement 3

Sonny Rollin’s Freedom Suite (first issued on the Riverside album of the same name) is a protest jazz masterpiece, albeit one relegated to a back seat behind works by Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and even John Coltrane by some critics. There are several reasons for this. Despite being inspired by Rollins’ first-hand experience of housing discrimination in New York, it was recorded in early 1958, and released before the Civil Rights Movement reached critical mass nationally.

The upshot is that “The Freedom Suite” is a natural, if overlooked reservoir for tenor saxophonists of David S. Ware’s generation. Obviously Ware has long been well aware of the piece, having studied with Rollins before his mid-70s emergence. Yet it is somewhat surprising for Ware to give the piece a CD length reading, as so little of Rollins’ influence is detectable even in Ware’s earliest recordings (the notable exception being his take on Kurt Weill’s “My Ship” on drummer Andrew Cyrille’s 1978 Black Saint album Metamusician’s Stomp). Instead, Ware quickly established a sound extrapolating the Fire Music nexus of spiritual and visceral intensities, placing little to no stock in Rollins’ romanticism, humour, and interest in pop music. – Bill Shoemaker, The Wire [source]

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Archie Shepp & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen – Ornithology (1980)

From the duet album Looking At Bird by Archie Shepp & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, recorded February 7, 1980. Ornithology is originally Written by Benny Harris.

Archie Shepp pays tribute to Bird not by copying him, but by being creative and playing Parker´s repertoire in his own sound. Recommended. [source]

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen -Bass / Archie Shepp – Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone

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Arthur Doyle Quartet – Spiritual Healing (1995)

From the album Live at the Cooler. Recorded live at the Cooler, N.Y.C. on March 15, 1995.

Arthur Doyle‘s name appeared on a Sonic Youth song, “Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream” (originally titled “Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream”) from their album Sonic Nurse. According to Thurston Moore, the song:  juxtaposes the two extremes of Sonic Youth’s eclectic mix of influences. “We could, on the one hand, be interested in a popular figure as ubiquitous as Mariah and on the other hand, we’re obviously interested in people [like free-jazz saxophonist Arthur Doyle] that are working on the fringes of the musical world. We operate much more on the fringes and with people from that world as our peers than we do in the world of the big-time music business. Our peers are mostly people from the underground.”

Arthur Doyle – tenor sax / Rudolph Grey – guitar / Wilber Morris – bass / Tom Surgal – drums

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Gato Barbieri – Why Did She Choose You? (1972)

Although some of the smoky sax solos get a little uncomfortably close to 1970s fusion cliché, Gato Barbieri’s score to Bertolucci’s 1972 classic is an overall triumph. Suspenseful jazz, melancholy orchestration, and actual tangos fit the film’s air of erotic longing, melancholy despair, and doomed fate. [source]

Gato Barbieri – Saxophone / Wolmer Beltrani – Accordion / Franco D’Andrea – Piano / Franco Goldani – Accordion / Oliver Nelson – Conductor / John Bender – Liner Notes

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John Coltrane Quartet – What’s New? (1962)

From the album Ballads by John Coltrane, Recorded 1961 and 1962.

Critic Gene Lees stated that the quartet had never played the tunes before. “They arrived with music-store sheet music of the songs” and just before the recordings, they “would discuss each tune, write out copies of the changes they’d use, semi-rehearse for a half hour and then do it”. Each piece was recorded in one take, except for “All or Nothing at All” [source]

Personel: John Coltrane – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone / McCoy Tyner – piano / Jimmy Garrison – bass / Elvin Jones – drums

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