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David S. Ware Dies at 62

Free jazz saxophonist underwent a kidney transplant in 2009

David S. Ware at home

Saxophonist David S. Ware, about whom pianist Matthew Shipp once said, “There’s nobody in the world who has what David has,” died yesterday, Oct. 18, in New Brunswick, N.J., at age 62. Ware, considered one of the major innovators in the free jazz realm, had undergone a kidney transplant in 2009 and had been taking dialysis treatments for more than a decade.

David Spencer Ware was born in Plainfield, N.J., Nov. 7, 1949 and began playing saxophone at age 9. He later attended the Berklee College of Music and by the early ’70s, having been taught by Sonny Rollins and others, had established a reputation on the New York scene. He recorded his debut album as a leader, Third World Awareness, in 1971, and recorded and performed during that decade with pianist Cecil Taylor and drummer Andrew Cyrille. Among his gigs with Taylor was a heralded concert at Carnegie Hall.

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