Vibraphonist Bill Ware was a mover and shaker on the downtown New York scene during the '80s and '90s, playing both advanced post-bop and grooving, revivalist jazz-funk. Born Bill Ware III in East Orange, NJ, on January 28, 1959, Ware started out as a bass player, and later trained at the Harlem Jazzmobile Workshop. He first hit the scene playing Latin jazz (on bass and piano), and in 1986 formed his own Latin ensemble, AM Sleep, which recorded an album titled Los Sombras. In 1987, Ware became a charter member of the highly acclaimed Jazz Passengers, which proved to be his highest-profile venture. In 1990, Ware formed a backing group called the Club Bird All-Stars, with whom he toured Japan; they later backed him on his 1993 Knitting Factory debut as a leader, Long and Skinny. Ware had also hooked up with the acid jazz outfit the Groove Collective, who debuted on record the same year; what's more, Ware also landed a gig with the reunited Steely Dan, with whom he worked until 1995. With Jazz Passengers' rhythm section of Brad Jones and E.J. Rodriguez, Ware formed a side project called Vibes, which played dark, pulsating jazz-funk; they debuted on record in 1998 on a Knitting Factory album of the same name. Ware followed it in 1999 with Keeping Up With the Jones' (on Cathexis), which introduced his Y2K Jazz Quartet. 2001 brought Sir Duke, an Ellington tribute recorded with only guitarist Marc Ribot as accompaniment; the following year, Ware released his fourth album for Knitting Factory, aptly titled Four, which featured numerous guests, including Deborah Harry.
Bill Ware
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