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David S. Ware: Threads

David S. Ware says in the liner notes to Threads that he’s released “enough records with me blowing my brains out,” so the tenor saxophonist headed down a different path. Most notably, he plays on only half of the album’s six tracks, totaling just 14 of the album’s 44 minutes. But when Ware the saxophonist isn’t front-and-center, leveling walls with his gargantuan tone, he’s replaced by the presence of Ware the composer-to the extent that some of his performers evoke his playing on string instruments.

Classical violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and adventurous violist Mat Maneri, who both get plenty of room in the spotlight, join Ware’s usual quartet: bassist William Parker, drummer Guillermo E. Brown and keyboardist Matthew Shipp. Instead of piano, Shipp plays the Korg Triton ProX synthesizer, an instrument he brought to Ware’s 2001 CD Corridors & Parallels. This time, it serves a more atmospheric purpose, widening the sound and blending with the nonsynthetic strings.

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