Feb 08, 2016
Rova Channeling Coltrane: Electric Ascension — a special DVD/Bluray/CD package produced by jazz label Rogue Art — released January 15, 2016 in the USA and worldwide. It includes the Kickstarter-funded five-camera shoot of Electric Ascension; that concert-filming made at 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival in Canada. This video shoot was beautifully edited and mixed in the San Francisco Bay Area by director John Rogers and sound engineer Jim McKee (with mixing help from Larry Ochs of Rova, and technical help from both Lucas Ranch and Pixar Studio! Yes: The sound and picture are both spectacular as a result.).

The live concert is issued on both Bluray — with incredible 5.1 surround sound — and on DVD (in stereo sound format). Also on the DVD: John Rogers’ revealing documentary entitled “Cleaning the Mirror” that includes a brief history of John Coltrane’s Ascension plus interviews with many of the participants in Rova’s Electric Ascension concerts that occurred in 2007 in Paris and in 2009 in Saalfelden, Austria, including  musicians Andrew Cyrille, Nels Cline, Eyvind Kang, Jenny Scheinman and members of Rova.
You can read much more about the history of Electric Ascension and this special release at the Rova website www.rova.org. And also right here on Ochs’ website.

Available for purchase at Rova’s website as well as from Amazon, Squidco, Downtown Music Gallery and – for European purchasers: Rogue Art website.

A great review in the New York Times: ‘Rova Channeling Coltrane’ Offers More Than a Live Performance

By Nate Chinen. January 13, 2016
Transience and permanence each play a role in any landmark recording of free jazz. This is especially true of “Ascension,” the large-canvas album made by the saxophonist John Coltrane in 1965. An experiment in form and scale, it was never performed in concert, even though that would seem to be its ideal manifestation.
The members of Rova Saxophone Quartet, an intrepid ensemble formed in the San Francisco Bay Area more than 35 years ago, took this into consideration when they conceived Electric Ascension, a repertory tribute group stocked with texture-mad improvisers like the guitarist Nels Cline. The expanded assemblage has toured in Europe and North America, and a vital album — “Electric Ascension,” credited to Rova::Orkestrova — was released on Atavistic in 2005.
“Rova Channeling Coltrane” similarly chronicles a live performance, highlighting the ephemeral qualities of the music. But because this new release contains not only an album but also a concert film and a behind-the-scenes documentary, it offers a more multilayered experience. (A surround-sound version of the album, on an enclosed Blu-ray disc, includes the option to tinker with the mix, focusing on a particular musician’s output within the collective squall.)
The music, from a 2012 concert in Guelph, Ontario, is at once ecstatic, enigmatic and volatile, often suggesting a flow of complex systems. But there are signposts, starting with Coltrane’s thematic overture, and there’s a method, overseen by two of Rova’s founding members, the saxophonists Jon Raskin and Larry Ochs.
The roster on “Rova Channeling Coltrane” includes Mr. Cline, Ikue Mori on electronics, Rob Mazurek on cornet and Hamid Drake on drums. Their interplay is striking: Each transaction feels contingent on its immediate context — what happened a moment ago, and what’s in the moment ahead.
Over a roughly 70-minute span, the music keeps realigning among smaller subgroups of players. One poetic stretch, emerging out of a cacophony, involves just Jenny Scheinman’s mournful violin and Mr. Cline’s quietly ringing chords; another has Ms. Scheinman and Carla Kihlstedt embroidering a dialogue on violin, against a percussive rustle. These smallish moments underscore the power of the full ensemble whenever it heaves into gear.
Electric Ascension, featuring Mr. Cline and others, appears on Sunday night at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the NYC Winter Jazzfest. Rova will also be at the Stone from Tuesday through Jan. 24, working with partners including the saxophonist and composer John Zorn.

Available for purchase at Rova’s website as well as from Amazon, Squidco, Downtown Music Gallery and – for European purchasers: Rogue Art