Greg Tate is a brilliant writer when he wants to be. Unfortunately, he slacks off too much and too often relies on dialect comedy to paper over the holes in his arguments. This piece, though, is the shit. Go read it.
I've been listening to David S. Ware's new triple-CD live record, Live In The World, a lot lately. It comes out in February on Thirsty Ear and if you don't buy one, you're a damn fool who's got no excuse calling yourself a jazz fan. Ware is a total saxophonist - he's got Archie Shepp's gruff bellow, Sonny Rollins's mastery of melody and harmony, Pharoah Sanders's scream, and Joe Henderson's sharp edge. And he combines all these things with his own sense of how to construct seriously extended solos without ever sounding self-indulgent or out of ideas. Plus, his band - Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass, Guillermo Brown on drums - kicks more ass than any jazz group around right now.
(Interesting side note: if you're already into Ware, check out "El Barrio" from Joe Henderson's Inner Urge album and see if it doesn't sound like a hidden/unacknowledged inspiration to you. It does to me.)
Live In The World features three complete performances from the Ware quartet, each featuring a different drummer - Susie Ibarra on Disc 1, Hamid Drake on Disc 2, Guillermo Brown on Disc 3. Each has revelatory moments, though Disc 2 is my current favorite because it's a one-off (Drake was subbing for Brown) and because the repertoire goes way back to his earliest albums.
The new High On Fire album, Blessed Black Wings, is also amazingly great. Here's hoping the rest of 2005 provides as many glories as I'm gathering in the first week of January.
I'm almost done with my next book. I'm finalizing the first draft of the manuscript this week and next, and will be sending it out into the world by month's end. So this site may be light on fresh content for the immediate future, but I've got a good reason. Hee-yah.