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  Listen Up! 1/5/04 Listen Up!

Monday, Jan. 5

David S. Ware, “Go See the World,” Columbia Records. Great way to start the morning, with some frenetic, spiritual, wild-ass jazz. Ware is unusual in the modern world, a leader who has kept the same quartet together for a long time. This album came out back in ’99, and it’s a fine document of the strengths of this group. Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass, Susie Ibarra on drums, and Ware on tenor sax act as a finely tuned mechanism, responding to each other’s improvisatory flights of fancy. Of course, Ware is the leader, and his overtone-laden screams and howls and bursts of energy are the focus. But, they’d be much less interesting without the solid support of this rhythm section, which hovers much closer to land for reference points under Ware’s soaring sorties to the heavens. Of course, everybody takes off again and again during the 14 minute deconstruction of “The Way We Were,” a cut which probably sickened Marvin Hamlisch if he ever got to hear it.

The Band, “Stage Fright,” Capitol Records. One of those albums I’ve never gotten around to owning (though I’m about to rectify that error). I know the first two Band albums are the stone classics, but I’m growing more and more fond of the later years, when they started rocking things up a little bit, and writing these truly mesmerizing and deceptively simple songs. And, of course, those vocals always get me.

--Steve Pick


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