San Francisco, CA (Top40 Charts/ CWPR)
Rova:Arts, the not-for-profit organization of Rova Saxophone Quartet, is proud to announce a rare concert of Electric Ascension at the Guelph Jazz Festival near Toronto, Ontario. On September
7, Rova's four members - Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams - join Nels Cline on electric guitar, Fred Frith on electric bass, Hamid Drake
on drums, Jenny Scheinman and Carla Kihlstedt on violins, Ikue Mori and Chris Brown
on electronics, and Rob Mazurek on cornet and electronics in a reinterpretation of John Coltrane's late masterwork, Ascension.
Famed for its monumental scale and raw emotional power, John Coltrane's Ascensionhas been rearranged in electrifying style by Rova's Raskin and Ochs. When it first debuted in 1965, Coltrane's Ascension polarized public and critical opinion. Down Beat Magazine called it "the most powerful human sound ever recorded" while jazz critic Gary Giddins called it "the most vexatious work in jazz history." Even today the album-length composition still generates controversy - and still continues to inspire.
"Ascension, the composition, is a shrine, an early and heartfelt attempt at combining composition with free improvisation in a unique, large ensemble," said Rova's Larry Ochs. "It's a masterwork that opens us, the musicians, to an interstellar space; a musical universe of infinite possibility that nevertheless is framed and somehow inspired by the written music and Coltrane's musical design. We can't wait to play it again."
Rova Orkestrova's concert in Canada this September
will be the ninth time Electric Ascension has been performed since its debut in 2003, and for the first time preparations are underway to record it in high-definition video. Rova has partnered with John Rogers of Ideas In Motion who has been at work for four years on Cleaning the Mirror, a documentary about how Electric Ascension evolved from Coltrane's masterwork. A video of the Guelph concert will accompany and complete the documentary.
"I've seen Electric Ascension performed four times, and each performance has been a transcendent musical experience and a powerful evocation of the spirit of John Coltrane," says filmmaker Rogers. "The documentary we are making explores the meaning of engaging with Coltrane's composition for the musicians, the physics of conducted improvisation, some history, and some snatches of the music. But from the beginning I saw the documentary as accompanying a complete concert. This music must be experienced in its entirety to appreciate its vitality, its emotion, and the fullness of the exploration undertaken by the ensemble."
To help raise funds for the concert video, Rova has launched a Kickstarter campaign scheduled to end on July 25, 2012. For more information about the Rova please visit www.rova.org or visit Electric Ascension Kickstarter campaign: http://kck.st/MAzbMx.