Celestial Septet: Rova Sax Quartet + Nels Cline Singers
Thursday, February 24Bowker Auditorium 8:00 pm
$12; students: $7
"The Celestial Septet is a vehicle for time and space travel through dense, narrow thickets and airy, wide expanses of boundary-blurred extrapolations of jazz, rock, late-20th-century European modernism and American minimalism, and 21st-century postmodern fusions," writes Derk Richardson in the liner notes of the Septet's recent New World Records release. "The trip is challenging, but the open-minded listener/traveler cannot help but come through the experience with new perspectives on sound and music."
Since forming in 1977, the Berkley-based ROVA Saxophone Quartet has become an important leader of genre-bending music. The Penguin Guide to Jazz calls its music "a teeming cosmos of saxophone sounds" created by "deliberately eschewing conventional notions about swing [and] prodding at the boundaries of sound and space..." Inspired by a broad spectrum of musical influences - from Charles Ives, Edgard Varese and Olivier Messiaen, to John Coltrane, Steve Lacy and Sun Ra - Rova began, in 1978, writing new material, touring, and recording, including adventurous collaborations with guitarists Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith, saxophonist John Zorn, and Italian percussionist Andrea Centazzo. In 1985, the Rova Saxophone Quartet incorporated as the not-for-profit organization Rova:Arts. Founding member Andrew Voigt left Rova in August 1988 and was replaced by Steve Adams. Otherwise, the personnel (Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin and Bruce Ackley) is unchanged.
The Nels Cline Singers are a ten-year old, all instrumental trio featuring guitarist Nels Cline, Devin Hoff, bass and Scott Amendola, drums. Born in Los Angeles in 1956, Nels Cline is known for his improvisational work in a wide variety of musical projects, as well as his use of effects pedals and looping devices which give his music a distinct sound. David Carr describes Cline as "one of the best guitarists in any genre." He has played with Charlie Haden, Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia and the late Eric Von Essen, and has also worked with Willie Nelson, Thurston Moore and the jazz/punk/improv band Banyan. He frequently performs with his twin brother, drummer Alex Cline. He is currently the lead guitarist of the alternative rock band, Wilco.