288

Rova: Totally Spinning

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Rova: Totally Spinning Depending on your preference among saxophone quartets, Rova (comprised of Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams) and the World Saxophone Quartet would have to rank numbers 1 and 1A. Rova has always been perceived as the more avant-garde of the two, more prone to explorations of abstract sound, closer in spirit (and practice) to Coltrane's Ascension than Ellington.

Ten years ago, however, when Totally Spinning was recorded, Rova was at its most lyrical. Sure, "Radar 11/19/01 sounds like a four-minute radio transmission from outer space as each saxophone sputters and hums along its own path, the lines only briefly coming into contact with one another to set off a spark. But the rest of the hour is as approachable as Rova gets, an enjoyably listenable point of entry into the work of this groundbreaking veteran group. Raskin (on baritone) gets to carry most of the rhythmic water: his playing on his own "Let's Go Totally Spinning is joyous, while on "Stiction he infuses the tune with casual confidence, as Ochs sidles up on tenor and Ackley and Adams fly above on their higher-pitched horns.

"Cuernavaca Starlight echoes Mingus' knack for internal melodic ache as the saxophones intertwine in sympathetic harmony, and the comparatively brief "Preshrunk and "Kick It are peppy, tight and to the point. On previous Rova albums the fifteen-minute "It's a Journey, Not a Destination would seem discursive and intimidating. Here, with its shifting tempos and enchanting tonal moods, spotlighting the impressive intricacies and virtuosity of all four musicians, it defines Rova's aesthetic.


Track Listing: Let's Go Totally Spinning; Stiction; Radar 11/19/01; Cuernavaca Starlight (For Charles Mingus); Kick It; It's a Journey, Not a Destination; Preshrunk; Radar, Version 731.

Personnel: Larry Ochs: tenor and sopranino saxophones; Jon Raskin: baritone saxophone; Bruce Ackley: soprano saxophone; Steve Adams: alto and sopranino saxophones.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Black Saint | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "In Hollywood, 1971" CD/LP/Track Review In Hollywood, 1971
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Three Miles From Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Three Miles From Avalon
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Molto Bene" CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Right to Love" CD/LP/Track Review Right to Love
by Jim Olin
Published: June 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!