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The Works, Vol. 3

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Album Review

The ROVA Saxophone Quartet provide a tiered, three-dimensional look into the interaction of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone. The arrangement of these instruments in the stereo mix — left to right on all tracks in the sequence soprano, baritone, alto, and then tenor — offers great contrast in the three-dimensional sound. Even the bright little spark of piccolo or sopranino saxophone is involved in these works of sonic texture. While Steve Adams of the group contributes one piece to the three-work album ("The Gene Pool"), the rest are commissions. Robin Holcomb wrote "Laredo" for the group and Muhal Richard Abrams contributes "Quartet 1." Still, each work is a showcase for group improvisation. These explorative forays by the group are not usually intensely challenging Niagaras of notes, but just as often sparkling and moving moments of lyricism.

Biography

Formed: 1977

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The experimental jazz zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s made possible any number of unconventional instrumental groupings. The basic horn-piano-bass-drums lineup of the modern jazz era lost its mandate, as more musicians searched for fresh and unusual sonorities. Ornette Coleman's bands did away with the piano; Cecil Taylor's trio with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray eliminated the bass. Musicians associated with the Chicago-based AACM occasionally...
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The Works, Vol. 3, Rova
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