The Works, Vol. 1

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ROVA saxophone quartet provide a tiered, three-dimensional look at the interaction of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone. The arrangement of these instruments in the stereo mix -- left to right on all tracks in the sequence soprano, baritone, alto, and then tenor -- offers great contrast in the three-dimensional sound. Even the bright little spark of piccolo or sopranino saxophone involves in these works of sonic texture. While Steve Adams of the group contributes one piece to the three-work album ("The Gene Pool"), the rest are commissions. Robin Holcomb wrote "Laredo" for the group, and Muhal Richard Abrams contributes "Quartet #1." Still, each work is a showcase for group improvisation. These explorative forays by the group are not usually intensely challenging Niagaras of notes, but just as often sparkling and moving moments of lyricism.

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