:: NOV - DEC 2016 ::

Rova's new CD tribute to Butch Morris

In This Dispatch:

Upcoming Rova Shows

+1: Stuart Broomer - "EYES OPEN AT ALL TIMES!" - Rova, Butch Morris and Conduction

Favorite Street: Bruce Ackley

Rova Member Shows

Rova T-Shirts!

Upcoming Rova Shows

The Rova Quartet is happy to announce the release of a new recording, No Favorites, our tribute to friend and innovative music maker, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, who sadly we lost in January of 2013. We’re excited about the results of this special project, and invite you to check it out. See below critic Stuart Broomer’s insightful notes describing the music and the Rova process for making it all happen.

Work with We Players and inkBoat continues as we dream big for our ambitious March-April 2017 site-specific re-imagining of Beowulf. Details are firming up for a several week run. See our next mailing, or check the Rova and We Players websites in the coming weeks, for complete details.

On the heels of Beowulf our plan is to be on the road to Europe. There are several inquiries out that could result in multiple overseas tours, all of which make year 39 appear full of creative opportunities for Rova, and our fellow travelers.

November 19, Rova +1 Concert Rova will be joined in two separate settings, one featuring singer Dohee Lee, and the other with electronics improviser Jon Leidecker, aka Wobbly. Look forward to elements of surprise.

December 3, Rova + Fred Frith Trio Sets by each band, and then a joint venture to cap the evening.

Looking ahead to January 29 Orkestrova extravaganza at SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium: On the 4th anniversary of his untimely death, Rova’s expanded ensemble of sax quartet, power trio and string quartet will offer a special tribute concert to Butch Morris, No Favorites. We will also present a new rendition of Electric Ascension, Rova’s arrangement of John Coltrane’s late-period classic, Ascension. The SFJAZZ website is the place to read about the personnel, hear some samples, and buy tickets, which are already selling well. Advance purchase recommended.

Covers for the original 1965 John Coltrane recording of Ascension, and recordings of Rova’s tribute performances, the 1995 original acoustic lineup, and the 2012 Electric Ascension, accompanied by the Cleaning the Mirror documentary DVD

Bandcamp! Bandcamp!

We’re now offering both new and impossible to find Rova recordings and other points of interest on our Bandcamp page. Be sure to check out recordings there, including No Favorites, as well as, for example, the long out-of-print 1990 recording Long on Logic that we are making available as a CD download for the first time.

Saturday, November 19, 8:00 PM

Rova: +1, featuring Dohee Lee and Jon Leidecker (Wobbly)

Vocalist / performer, Dohee Lee, and electronics subversive, Jon Leidecker

Rova continues its “+1” series, in which Rova members select artists to collaborate with. For this installment, Larry Ochs has us teaming up with Dohee Lee, and Steve Adams with Jon Leidecker, to create two distinct settings for improvising. Both guest artists are known for their unique approaches to music and performance, and Rova are willing co-conspirators who will gladly accompany each to uncharted territory.

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street, near Market
San Francisco

Saturday, December 3, 8:00 PM

Rova + Fred Frith Trio

Glenn, Frith and Hoopes     Image by Heike Liss

Rova and Fred Frith have collaborated numerous times since their first meet-up in Berkeley, October, 1979. Local performances, European concerts, Electric Ascension, and a major recording project in the 1990’s have all deepened our shared experience in this realm of creativity. This upcoming show will feature each group on its own for short sets, and then a culminating mashup that we’re all thrilled with the prospect of. Fred’s trio is on fire, and Rova’s cooking up new information for the date. Not to be missed!

Cyprian’s Church
2097 Turk Street
San Francisco 94115

Sunday, January 29 2017, 7:30 PM

Rova Plays John Coltrane's Ascension & Tribute to Butch Morris


Photo of Rova in New York performing Electric Ascension, January 2016 by Peter Gannushkin

A treasured Bay Area ensemble whose connection to SFJAZZ goes back to the second Jazz in the City festival in 1984, the Rova Saxophone Quartet has consistently explored the fertile territory at the edges of composition and improvisation. In a reprise of their 2005 performance celebrating the 40th anniversary of John Coltrane’s ecstatic masterpiece Ascension, Rova revisits their electrified re-imagining of the work with a number of guests artists including bassist Fred Frith and drummer Don Robinson, who performed on that momentous occasion eleven years ago, as well as harpist Zeena Parkins and guitarist Trey Spruance. Rova’s 2005 live recording documenting the piece, Electric Ascension, was called a “great triumph” by All About Jazz, and was listed by The Penguin Guide to Jazz as part of their “Core Collection” of essential albums. The other half of the evening pays homage to the late cornetist, composer, and conductor Lawrence “Butch” Morris in a program called No Favorites. Arranged for a lineup including Rova, a “power trio” of electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, and a string quartet, No Favorites pays homage to Morris’ adventurous spirit and his signature style of “conduction,” a term he coined to describe his combination of conducting, cueing, and improvisation. Rova’s new release dedicated to No Favorites has just been released on New World Records.

SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium
201 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102


+1: Stuart Broomer - "EYES OPEN AT ALL TIMES!" - Rova, Butch Morris and Conduction

Stuart Broomer is a Canadian editor, music critic, pianist, writer, jazz historian, and composer. He is a former editor with CODA magazine and currently works as an editor at Coach House Books. As a music critic he has written articles for Amazon.com, Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, Down Beat, Musicworks, Cadence Magazine, ParisTransatlantlic and Signal to Noise. He has also authored more than 60 liner essays for musicians internationally. His book Time and Anthony Braxton was published by Mercury Press in 2009. He is a member of the music faculty at George Brown College.


Rova, Butch Morris and Conduction

No Favorites pays homage to one of the most original creators in improvised music, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, inventor of Conduction, a method for organizing large- ensemble improvisation that he took to the world. Morris died in January of 2013, and Rova mounted their tribute at Turkey’s Akbank Jazz Festival nine months later. The program represents a working relationship that Rova began with Morris in 1988 and also reflects parallel working processes reaching back to the mid-1970s. 

Rova does more than simply pay tribute. The quartet’s members build on their own work in structured improvisation, incorporate other methods of organization— from graphic scores to conventional notation—and expand their palette from the saxophone quartet to include a string quartet and an electric power trio. Extending the possibilities of large-ensemble improvisation, the combined groups create music of both depth and an ever-changing surface, the fruit of both intense commitment and a highly creative, heterodox methodology. Like previous Rova expansions—the recently revived Rova Saxophone Octet, first convened in 1992; Orkestrova 2002 playing pieces by Satoko Fujii and Steve Adams; Electric Ascension (2003–2016); Rova & Nels Cline Singers (2008); and The Receiving Surfaces with John Zorn (2010)—it achieves complex music that both requires and rewards active listening. 

Butch Morris 

Setting out from Long Beach, California, “Butch” Morris initially established himself as a cornetist and composer in the free jazz scene of the 1970s, exploring milieus in San Francisco, New York, and Paris and playing with creative associates like Charles Moffett, David Murray, Alan Silva, and Steve Lacy. Dissatisfied with the often shapeless large-group improvisations of the ’70s New York loft scene, Morris began to seek other possibilities for organizing improvisation, eventually hitting on the idea of Conduction, shaping an improvisation with a series of coded gestures. 

Given the radical democracy of free jazz, it’s easy to imagine the initial resistance that Morris’s singular repositioning as “conductor” would meet, but Morris could achieve indisputable results, finding ways to create, contrast, and organize sound that were satisfying to the musicians involved. 

[Click here to continue reading article.]


Favorite Street: Bruce Ackley



Aram Shelton – alto saxophone and processing
Fred Lonberg-holm – cello, guitar and electronics
Frank Rosaly – drums and percussion
(Single Speed Music)

This is a stellar trio that serves up rich textures whose source remains mysterious. The processing involved adds unexpected dimensions to the 3 instruments. Nice recording too.

Guitarist, composer David James

Billionaire BluesDavid James’ GPS

Alan Williams – Trombone
Beth Custer – Clarinet
David James – Guitar, Voice
Dina Maccabee – Viola
Jan Jackson – Drums
Lisa Mezzacappa – Bass

David and I have been friends through various record stores for years, and I’ve intermittently checked into his recorded music with clarinetist Beth Custer’s bands. But listening to Billionaire Blues I finally am hearing his music. His playing, composing and arranging on this CD are all well thought out, and delivered with a purpose. His singing is terrific and came as a real surprise to me. I look forward to hearing GPS live soon.

Upward – Ross Hammond and Sameer Gupta
Ross Hammond – 12-string guitar
Sameer Gupta – tablas 

Ross asked me to play an improv gig with Scott Walton and him earlier this year, and we really had a blast. He’s a very responsive and relaxed player, with a rootsy electric guitar sound I love. But, this CD is different. Here he’s is in a modal bag, playing acoustic 12-string guitar. The instrument seems to have a sympathetic resonance that really works with Gupta’s tablas, and the music is really happening in a deeply introspective way. Good stuff.

Highlights from the Roost Creative Music Series, vol. 1
Various artists and bands from the Albuquerque area, 2009 - 11
(Plutonium Records)

Chief instigator and badass tuba player, Mark Weaver, kindly sent me this revelatory disc, which primarily features players from the Albuquerque scene, but also traveling musicians who appeared at the Roost. The creativity and variety displayed in these 12 tracks is further confirmation of how deeply territory and association can affect the output of imaginative musicians. Que viva the Albuquerque sound!

Zeal and Ardor – Devil is Fine

This is some crazy shit. I love it. Thanks to pal Mo Berry for turning me on. It’s black metal, field hollers and gospel, and it was made in an apartment in Brooklyn. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts 36 years later. Deep.

Forbidden Symmetry – Tender Buttons (45 rpm LP!)

Tania Chen – piano
Tom Djll – electronics
Gino Robair – electronics
(Plutonium Records)

I’m really excited about this group and this recording. The combination of the pure acoustic piano (deliberately and articulately played by Chen on a beautiful instrument), conjoined with the complex sonorities of Djll’s and Robair’s deep toolkits is a balm to the ears. The recording is stunning, and the improvising spontaneous, yet carefully crafted.



Rova Member Shows

Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

The Steve Adams/Matt Small duo

Steve Adams – woodwinds
Matt Small – bass

Hear Steve and Matt in an intimate restaurant setting, at Bellotta, a new Spanish bistro.

888 Brannan St #110
San Francisco, CA 94103

Friday, November 11, 8:00 PM 

Jones Jones 

Mark Dresser – bass
Larry Ochs – saxophones
Vladimir Tarasov – percussion 
LEV RUBINSTEIN – Dada poetry

The State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky presents "Time is Running" as part of their series of cultural events devoted to the centenary of Dada. The concert will be presented at the fantastic Scriabin Museum.

Saturday, November 12, 8:00 PM 

Jones Jones in Moscow 

Mark Dresser – bass
Larry Ochs – saxophones
Vladimir Tarasov – percussion 

The trio hits at the local culture center’s jazz club, Culture Centre Dom.


Cleaver, Cline and Ochs

Thursday, December 8, 8:00 PM

Ochs / Cleaver / Cline

Larry Ochs – saxophones
Gerald Cleaver – drums
Nels Cline – guitars, effects

Philadelphia Take 1
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Friday, December 9 

Ochs / Cleaver / Cline

200 W Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Saturday, December 10 

Ochs / Cleaver / Cline

The Windup Space
12 W North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

Sunday, Dec. 11, 8:00 PM

Ochs / Cleaver / Cline

Philadelphia Take 2
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 9:00 PM

Ochs-Wooley-Filiano-Eisenstadt Quartet

Harris Eisenstadt – drums
Ken Filiano – bass, effects 
Nate Wooley – trumpet 
Larry Ochs – saxophones

Quartet music by Ochs for this stellar quartet, including music adapted from scores for The Fictive 5.

The Rosemont
63 Montrose Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206



The Center for New Music is Looking for Visionary Curators!

Rova T-Shirts for Your Mom and Dad for Christmas!

Check out the design below, featuring an image shot by our friend, Finnish photographer, Lauri Nykopp, which is printed on quality black tees. THE SHIRTS ARE VERY LIMITED EDITION. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Available in XXL – XL – L - M

US: $20 + tax $1.75 + shipping $4 US = $25.75 Foreign: $20 + tax $1.75 + shipping $8 = $29.75

Click here to order your t-shirt


Join the Rova:Arts Community

Become a Fan on Facebook!

Already a fan? Encourage your Facebook friends to become Rova:Arts fans. 

Stay Tuned

You can stay in touch with all Rova:Arts activities through our website, subscribing to Rova's Radar, and our FaceBook and MySpace pages. See links at the bottom of the page. Also, check out Rova on YouTube!  Subscribe to our channel and be notified when there are new Rova videos for you to watch. Go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ROVAARTSSF and click the subscribe button.

About Rova:Arts

Rova:Arts, formed in 1986 to support the activities of Rova, has been instrumental in producing local projects and advancing an ongoing cultural exchange between local Bay Area artists and the international scene through its Rovaté concert series. These events, made possible by funding to Rova:Arts, have engaged Bay Area musicians and composers—as well as musicians from around the world. Rova:Arts projects are often reproduced in other parts of the world, thereby bringing the work to a broader audience. Also, many Rova:Arts events have been recorded, resulting in releases which have been enthusiastically celebrated.

Click here to find out more and to Join Rova:Arts. If you are interested in getting involved in a more hands-on-way, feel free to contact us: http://www.rova.org/contact.html. Thanks for being part of the art.

Support Rova:Arts through Amazon Smile

You can increase your donation potential by clicking on Amazon Smile. Bookmark this link so all of your eligible Amazon shopping will benefit Rova:Arts.


Help Support Rova:Arts with Amazon Smiles!

Share this link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3015358 and ask your donors, volunteers, employees, and friends to bookmark this link so all their eligible shopping will benefit Rova:Arts.

Send an email: In your next email newsletter to supporters, promote your AmazonSmile participation and include the link above.

Copy and paste this message in a Facebook post: When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Rova:Arts. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3015358 and support us every time you shop.

Copy and paste this message in a Tweet: Amazon donates to Rova:Arts when you shop @AmazonSmile. http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3015358 #YouShopAmazonGives




Be sure to visit us online:

Copyright © 2016 Rova:Arts, All rights reserved.
We send our news to fans and supporters of Rova and Rova:Arts. Thanks for reading!

Our mailing address is:
115 Central Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94117

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp