February 2007

The Rotunda4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: Free Admission
Sponsored by:
Thursday, February 8, 2007 - 8:00pm

Rova Saxophone Quartet performs "Certain Space"

Bruce Ackley, soprano saxophone
Steve Adams, alto saxophone
Larry Ochs, tenor saxophone
Jon Raskin, baritone saxophone

Rova was founded in October 1977 by Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Andrew Voigt, and Bruce Ackley. Its first concert was held at Mills College in Oakland in February of the next year. From the beginning, Rova was unique. While at heart a free jazz-based unit, the group's members had a manifest love and interest in 20th century art music of all kinds: Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage, and Edgard Varèse were acknowledged influences, along with jazz greats like John Coltrane, Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, and Ornette Coleman. The group recorded its first album, Cinema Rovaté, in 1978 for Ochs' Metalanguage label. Since then the band released more than two dozen recordings on labels such as Black Saint, New Albion, Sound Aspects, and hatART.

The band has performed all over the world. In 1983, it became the first new music ensemble from the United States to tour the then-Soviet Union.  A film documenting the experience was subsequently aired on PBS. In 1986, the Ganelin Trio became the first Soviet jazz group to play the US as guests of Rova, performing at the group's Pre-Echoes series of collaborative events. The series would, in later years, include such musicians as John Zorn, Braxton, and Terry Riley. Voigt left Rova in 1988 to be replaced by Steve Adams. Rova has been a registered not-for-profit entity since 1985, thus enabling it to commission new works and generally promote themselves and the cause of new music. Rova's music embraces a variety of contemporary techniques, from serialism and cue card-based game pieces to rock and free improvisation. The only constant in their music is the avoidance of cliché.

About "Certain Space":

For saxophone quartet: a reflection on the piano musics of Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman and Cecil Taylor. The piece is composed for improvising artists, which means that there is both notation and improvisational instructions: a structured improvisation. There are three sections, each one dedicated to one of the composers above, plus a 2.5 minute introduction/overture. On the recording, the Scelsi section runs from 2:47 to 13:40, the Taylor section follows, beginning at 13:40, and the Feldman section ends the piece beginning at 23:07. The lengths of each section, except for the intro, are flexible, and generally the Scelsi section is minutes shorter than on this recording. Each section is a series of "foils" or "cued events" played by three players, over which (or within which) a "free agent" plays/improvises according to specific parameters.... There is also another way that this piece can be organized, using the same components, wherein the musicians move back and forth between the three sections more than once and by specific cues, but there is no recorded example of the piece being performed in this way."

The Pavones
Jessica Pavone, el. bass + viola + violin
Matt Bauder, tenor saxophone + bass clarinet
Peter Evans, trumpet
Michaël Attias, alto saxophone
Mary Halvorson, guitar
Aaron Siegel, vibraphone + drums

The Pavones is the result of a life full of musical influences. An avid fan of new music and improvisation who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, Pavone is searching for ways to merge her divergent influences. A working musician amongst others in a vast city of creativity, her influential interests include folk rock, free improvisation, William Primrose, Jeffry Hyman, soul, the hopes of returning as Florence Ballard in a next life, visual arts, and the grace of the human body.

Jessica Pavone is a string instrumentalist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. She studied improvisation with Leroy Jenkins, viola with Victoria Chiang and Midhat Serbagi, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Music Composition at Brooklyn College. Currently, she tours the US and Europe with diverse groups such as the Anthony Braxton Sextet and Dave Longstreth's Dirty Projectors, and improvises with Imaginary Folk and the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet. She also plays electric bass in Jason Cady's Artificials and Mix Tape, a soul and country cover band with Matt Bauder. Since 2000, she has documented her music via her self-run label Peacock Recordings.

From Bacteria To Boys
Darius Jones, alto saxophone
Evan Lipson, bass
Mike Pride, voice + drums

Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys trio blurs the line between improvisation in a jazz idiom, modern hard-noise and 20th/21st century classical music and modern art rock, all with an intensity and center of focus any one familiar with Pride's music has come to expect. While a compositional framework is present in each performance, the set up and execution is unique to each individual space and concert. This band can hang with the harshest of harsh-noises, meta-rock, minimalist improvisation and modern classical presentations.

Percussionist/composer Mike Pride was born and raised in the Portland, Maine area where he studied with Les Harris, Jr., Bill Street and Matt Wilson, performed with legendary composer and jazz educator David Baker, and was involved with experimental, shock-rockers Ned Muffleburger and the DSL's, and co-lead the new music ensemble Imaginary Quartet with guitarist/composer Stik Fortier. Pride moved to New York City in 2000 where he studied briefly with drum and bass master Amir Ziv before studying with legendary percussionist Milford Graves. Since, he has performed and recorded with many wonderful musicians including Karen Borca, Tyondai Braxton, Anthony Braxton, Califone, Daniel Carter, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael Formanek, Chris Forsyth, Milford Graves, Curtis Hasselbring, Mark Helias, Vijay Iyer, Haino Keiji's FUSHITSUSHA, Frank Lowe, Mat Maneri, punk-rock legends MDC (Millions Of Dead Cops), Tony Malaby, Sabir Mateen, Jackson Moore, Butch Morris, Darla recording artists Pale Horse & Rider and Aarktica, William Parker, Matana Roberts, Perry Robinson, Sonny Simmons, Chris Speed, Steve Swell, Cuong Vu, Matthew Welch, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright and Otomo Yoshihide.