The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL





  American Express

© 2002-2016, Squidco LLC

Rova led by saxophonist Larry Ochs expands their translation of John Coltrane's "Ascension" in this amazing 3 disc CD/DVD/BluRay set of their cathartic performance at the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival with a stellar lineup including Mazurek, Frith, Cline, Mori, Drake, &c &c.

Rova Channeling Coltrane
Electric Ascension - Live At The 2012 Guelph Festival + "Cleaning The Mirror - A Documentary by John Rogers" [Blu Ray + DVD + CD]

Rova Channeling Coltrane: Electric Ascension - Live At The 2012 Guelph Festival +

Label: RogueArt    
Released in: France    

"In Rova's translation of Ascension into contemporary practice, Coltrane's Ascension remains as a great gift for the energy it presents, for the sheer unfailing intensity with which it fights toward its collective freedom. The original is a major work of art, not merely an episode but a larger process. Rova's substantial achievement consists in assuming the responsibility of Coltrane's great original, treating it not simply as a memento of liberation but as a tool for it as well."-Stuart Broomer, liner notes

"Last year [2015] the jazz world celebrated the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's spiritually charged album, "A Love Supreme," a work embraced then and now as a masterpiece. The saxophonist's next major release, 1966's "Ascension," left the jazz world divided, and it's safe to say its golden anniversary is going to pass without much notice by the jazz establishment.

A 40-minute piece that explodes from a simple five-note theme referencing the "Acknowledgement" section of "A Love Supreme," "Ascension" is an ecstatic free jazz revelation featuring 11 musicians, including Coltrane's classic quartet and an almost ad hoc collection of horn players.

Where "A Love Supreme" served as a finely wrought vessel for Coltrane's spiritual yearning, "Ascension" was more like glimpsing the face of God directly, and many of Coltrane's fans refused to follow him into this daunting realm.

Leave it to Rova, the long-running Bay Area saxophone quartet featuring Steve Adams, Bruce Ackley, Jon Raskin and Larry Ochs, to put their own stamp on this marvelously unruly music. Their new release, "Rova Channeling Coltrane," is a three-disc set with a CD, DVD and Blu-ray of the 12-piece Orkestrova performing "Electric Ascension" at the Guelph Jazz Festival in Ontario in 2012.

Rova has been wrestling with "Ascension" for decades. They released an acoustic version of the work back in 1995 featuring the same instrumentation as Coltrane's recording. But when they revisited it as part of their 25th anniversary season in 2003, they included volatile electric guitarists Nels Cline and Fred Frith, and electronics experts Chris Brown and Ikue Mori.

I caught that concert and it was a stunning experience, but the version documented on "Rova Channeling Coltrane" is more powerful (the set also includes "Cleaning the Mirror," a thoughtful 44-minute film by Bay Area documentarian John Rogers on the enduring influence of "Ascension" and the making of "Electric Ascension").

Over four decades Rova has recorded a vast array of new music, generating their own material and often commissioning new works. Rova deftly sidesteps whatever pitfalls some jazz artists encounter by dwelling on the music of past masters by treating "Ascension" as a point of departure rather than a destination.

For Rova, Coltrane's improvisational framework serves as the fulcrum for a community of musicians. The cast here also includes two Chicago masters: powerhouse drummer Hamid Drake and the polymorphously creative cornetist Rob Mazurek. Arranged by Ochs and Raskin, "Electric Ascension" unfolds as a study in contrasts, with bristling density and gleaming transparency.

Interpreting a work as abstract and unbounded as this might seem like an invitation to let loose, but Rova's crew knows all about the power of silence and space. Free improvisation doesn't mean everybody wailing all the time. It's about listening as much as playing, and these musicians create a distinct choreography out of the music's tension and release, phasing in and out of the fray. When the thicket of sound clears, quiet interludes by Cline, Kihlstedt and Scheinman reveal the striking beauty and quietude that lurked within late-career Coltrane.

The saxophonist died of cancer in 1967 and his music evolved considerably in the two years after recording "Ascension." At the time he said, "There are always new sounds to imagine: new feelings to get at. ... But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror."

Rova takes that directive to heart. More than ever, this latest "Electric Ascension" distills truths and essences for an entire constellation of artists. While not for every listener, it's an album that can surprise, amaze and gratify if given the chance."-Andrew Gilbert,

See all items in the Squidco's Clean Feed $12.00 Sale category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Large Ensembles
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Get additional information at

Search for other titles on the RogueArt label.

Other Recommended Releases:
Scarcity Of Tanks
Ringleader Of Lies
(Total Life Society Records)
Drake, Hamid / Sylvain Kassap
Heads Or Tails [2 CDs]
Thollem / Oliveros / Cline
Molecular Affinity [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
No Favorites! (for Lawrence "Butch" Morris)
(New World Records)
Rempis, Dave / Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs
East-West Collective (Petit / Ochs / Masaoka / Fengxia / Kassap)
Petit, Didier - Alexandre Pierrepont
Passages - A Road Record: Woodstock - New York - Chicago - Los Angeles
Ochs, Larry Quintet
Stone Shift
Ochs / Masaoka / Lee
Spiller Alley
Ochs, Larry / Rova Special Sextet / OrkestRova
The Mirror World (for Stan Brakhage)

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Laubrock, Ingrid
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Halvorson, Mary
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Weiss, Dan Large Ensemble
Sixteen: Drummers Suite
(Pi Recordings)
Walabix invite Maris
Walabix invite Maris
She Sleeps, She Sleeps
(Rune Grammofon)
Foussat, Jean-Marc / Les Autres
Alternative Oblique [4 CD Box Set]
(Improvising Beings)
Audio One (Vandermark/Adasiewicz/Berman/Bishop/Rempis/Williams/Mazzarrella/Daisy/Macri/Paulson)
An International Report [VINYL]
(Audiographic Records)
Bennani / Silva / Greene / Henderson
Free Form Improvisation Ensemble 2013
(Improvising Beings)
Carrier, Francois / Steve Beresford / John Edwards / Michel Lambert
McPhee, Joe
Alone Together: The Solo Ensemble Recordings 1974 & 1979
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
MMM Quartet (Joelle Leandre, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran, Urs Leimgruber)
Hirose, Junji / Kazuhisa Uchihashi
Thing, The
(The Thing Records)
Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Mauch Chunk
(Hot Cup Records)
Nakatani-Kobo Special
Nakatani/Doneda: Duo & Nakatani: Gong at one special price.
Price: $31.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 8.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 3760131270655

Label: RogueArt
Catalog ID: ROG-0065
Squidco Product Code: 21471

Format: DVD + BluRay + CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: France
Packaging: Digipack - 4 panel
Recorded live at the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival in Guelph, Canada.


Bruce Ackley-soprano saxophone

Steve Adams-alto saxophone

Larry Ochs-tenor saxophone

Jon Raskin-baritone saxophone

Nels Cline-electric guitar

Fred Frith-electric bass

Carla Kihlstedt-violin, electronics

Jenny Scheinman-violins

Chris Brown-electronics

Ikue Mori-laptop electronics

Rob Mazurek-cornet, electronics

Hamid Drake-drums

Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search

Track Listing:

Disc 1 - DVD

1. Electric Ascension - Live at Guelph Jazz Festival 68:35

2. Cleaning The Mirror - Documentary by John Rogers 44:55

Disc 2 - BluRay

1. Electric Ascension - Live at Guelph Jazz Festival 68:35

Disc 3 - CD

1. Electric Ascension 1 2:47

2. Electric Ascension 2 5:12

3. Electric Ascension 3 4:25

4. Electric Ascension 4 3:38

5. Electric Ascension 5 6:51

6. Electric Ascension 6 1:45

7. Electric Ascension 7 7:30

8. Electric Ascension 8 9:20

9. Electric Ascension 9 3:24

10. Electric Ascension 10 7:46

11. Electric Ascension 11 4:46

12. Electric Ascension 12 5:27

13. Electric Ascension 13 4:26