‘Earthly Delights’ is a forgotten 1978 free-jazz masterpiece by bass player, composer and improviser David Wertman, alongside his Sun Ensemble.
Born in 1952 and raised in Queens NY, Wertman’s distinctive upright playing style was entirely self-taught. He cut his teeth in the notorious New York Jazz lofts, jamming for hours and hours with the likes of Billy Bang, Arthur Blythe, Marion Brown, Steve Reid, Dave Pike, William Parker, Brandon Ross and Charles Tyler to name but a few.
‘Earthly Delights’ is the first recording by the Sun Ensemble band and features the original line-up of Greg Wall (Baritone Saxophone), Jay Conway (Drums), John Sprague Jr. (Flute and Percussion), David Swerdlove (Soprano/Alto Saxophone), and John Zieman (Synthesizer). John Sprague Jr. financed and produced the album, releasing it on his own label Sweet Earth Records, a short-lived but bountiful imprint, perhaps best known for issuing Sun Ra And His Arkestra’s 1979 album “The Other Side Of The Sun”.
‘Earthly Delights’ is perhaps best described as loosely composed, or highly improvised, depending on where you stand on such subjective matters. Containing just 4 compositions, ‘Earthly Delights’ explores man’s relationship with nature; at times subtle and delicate, at times wide and sweeping in its gestures. The record’s spiritual message is conveyed by heartfelt, virtuoso performances from all six players, drifting together seamlessly from one sonic wave to the next.