CD TIPP: ROVA Saxophon Quartett with Kyle Bruckmann and Henry Kaiser – Plays Steve Lacys „SAXOPHONE SPECIAL REVISITED“

Das ROVA Saxophon Quartett hauchen Steve Lacy’s Musik den Zeitgeist ein und erwecken es zu neuen Glanz !


Neueinspielungen, Neuinterpretationen oder Tribute an bereits erschienen CD’s sind nicht gerade ungewöhnlich. Ich denke hier zb. an Mostly Other People Do The Killing die sich mit „Blue“ an ‚Kind Of Blue‘ gewagt haben und das war wohl keine so gute Idee. Das ROVA Saxophone Quartett haben es da besser gemacht. Sie hauchen Steve Lacy’s Musik den Zeitgeist ein und erwecken es zu neuen Glanz ! Anders kann ich es nicht ausdrücken. Der Vergleich lohnt sich unbedingt. Und da kann ich nur Subradar hinzuziehen, die diese Wegweisende Veröffentlichung als Download anbieten.



Bruce Ackley:  soprano sax
Steve Adams:  alto and sopranino sax
Larry Ochs:  tenor and sopranino sax
Jon Raskin:  baritone, alto, sopranino sax
Kyle Bruckmann:  analog synthesizers
Henry Kaiser:  guitar


On the original Lacy album, the four saxes were joined by what Lacy called a “noise section”, consisting of Derek Bailey on amplified guitar and Michel Waisvisz on synthesizer. That explains the presence here of Henry Kaiser on guitar and Kyle Bruckmann on analogue synthesizer alongside ROVA, recreating the 1974 instrumentation. As Bailey and Waisvisz did, Kaiser and Bruckmann provide accompaniment combined with just a touch of anarchy to offset the saxophones. The album features the five tracks from the Lacy version, “Staples”, “Swishes”, “Sops”, “Snaps” and “Dreams” plus two non-Saxophone Special bonus tracks, “Clichés” and “Sidelines”, all Lacy compositions except “Sops” which is a free improvisation. The use of “revisited” in the album title is a wise one, as these versions of the pieces do not seek to recreate the original versions but to be re-imagined and rethought versions of them; that could not be otherwise when over forty years elapsed between Lacy’s live versions being recorded and ROVA’s studio-recorded ones.

Although the pieces Lacy wrote for the original recording were all good, due to the well-documented lack of rehearsal time and equipment problems, a question mark has lingered over the album. Nonetheless, it is not difficult to hear why that album inspired ROVA. Back in 1974, no saxophone quartets as we now know them existed, so Lacy, Potts, Parker & Watts were blazing a trail for others to follow. Although some of their efforts may sound naïve with the benefit of hindsight, they were hugely influential; it is no coincidence that the World Saxophone Quartet, the first of its kind, was formed in 1977 in the wake of the album’s release. Here, in total contrast, ROVA use Lacy’s themes as springboards for explorations that would have been unimaginable in 1974. The two albums complement each other, together providing a measure of the distance we have come in forty years. Ultimately it seems likely that the relationship between this album and Lacy’s original will be similar to that between ROVA’s Electric Ascension and Coltrane’s own version. In each case those who listen to the ROVA version seem likely to be drawn to the original, and vice versa. By John Eyles


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