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ROVA Saxophone Quartet and Andrea Centazzo: The Bay

Jerry D'Souza By

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Ictus Records was co-founded by percussionist Andrea Centazzo with Carla Lugli in the late 1970s. The focus was on improvised music, contemporary styling and avant-garde jazz. Centazzo and Lugli ran the label until 1984 when the financial burden became too heavy to carry on. During that time, Ictus had a strong catalog with recordings of Centazzo, Steve Lacy, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Gianluigi Trovesi and ROVA. Saxophone Quartet among others.

Ictus was resurrected after a hiatus of thirty years. Several of the early recordings were re-released in commemoration of the milestone, including The Bay on which Larry Ochs (tenor and soprano sax), Jon Raskin (alto and soprano sax, clarinet), Bruce Ackley (clarinet, soprano sax, flute) and Andrew Voigt (alto and soprano sax, flute), the foursome that were the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, team with Centazzo.

ROVA was formed in 1977 and set about defining music in unusual ways. They challenged boundaries, manipulated concepts and amplified structure, giving sound singular and enthralling shapes.

The quartet expands on Centazzo's composition for which he used the folk music of Friuli, a region in North Italy. Much of the landscape is musically sparse on "Trobarclus. This is because the quartet does not overwhelm the theme, but rather they build it gradually with the artistry and patience of master craftsmen. The first note tumbles out of Ochs' tenor sax. After that they come in, solo, duo and all together. It is only in the last setting that the progression gets heated as each sets the direction that, nevertheless, has a logical consonance with the others.

Centazzo, who rides his percussion below the quartet, gets into a fuller mode on "O Ce Biel Cisciel Da Udin. This is a marching tune but the beat dissipates as ROVA cut out of the composition and create a different edifice with Centazzo skittering the beat.

Ready N. 1 and "Ready N. 3 were not on the original release due to time constraints. They together with "Ready N. 2 and "Ready N. 6 bring in the wider dimension of the quartet. The four tunes are made all the more pulsating as each player shifts the tide constantly in emphasis and contemplation. The Bay is a delectable piece of musical history.


Track Listing: Trobarclus; O Ce Biel Cisciel Da Udin; The Bay; Carmel Duet; Ready N. 2; Ready N. 6; Ready N. 1; Ready N. 3.

Personnel: Larry Ochs: tenor and soprano sax; Jon Raskin: alto and soprano sax, clarinet; Bruce Ackley: clarinet, soprano sax, flute; Andrew Voigt: alto and soprano sax, flute; Andrea Centazzo: percussion.

Title: The Bay | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Ictus Records


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