Feb 20, 2017
Once upon a time I ran a record label called Metalanguage with guitarist Henry Kaiser, and for that brief time-span (1978-85, plus a few CD releases more recently), I had total control over the process of producing a CD.
 
But working as a guest artist with a label can be very different for the obvious reason that the label has its own agenda; not to mention a long line of finished products on which my CD has to queue up. If there is not a good reason for this new CD to be released immediately – like an upcoming tour of the band on that CD – then that release can sometimes be delayed even longer. Not to mention the delays that sometimes occur due to production problems, such as missed typos that are only seen after a cover is sent back to us for final approval (…occasional), or poorly-made CDs that have to be remade (…rare, but it happens).

This is a long way of saying that the following announcement is projected; I expect the following to be true:
 
Saxophone Special Revisited,  featuring Rova, Henry Kaiser and Kyle Bruckmann, will release in May, 2016 on Clean Feed. Steve Lacy’s mid-1970s innovations helped shape improvised music for decades.  His 1974 live recording Saxophone Special lit up the ears of the soon-to-be Rovas and sparked our imaginations during the band’s earliest days. To reflect the classic sextet of the original Lacy project, which included two late masters of improvisation: Derek Bailey on electric guitar and Micheal Waisvisz on synthesizer, Rova are here joined by the guitar of their old pal and colleague of the past 40 years, Henry Kaiser; as well as Bay Area analog synth ace Kyle Bruckmann. This celebration and reinvestigation of Saxophone Special newly illuminates the revolutionary compositional and improvisational ideas put to practice by Steve Lacy in the early Seventies. That was a time when the saxophone quartet was an unknown format for improvisation – Anthony Braxton’s “New York, Fall 1974” was released only a few months before, and the World Saxophone Quartet was to appear a year later. Like Electric Ascension, this tribute points to the undiscovered future, as well as expressing gratitude to the original 6 masters of music on the Lacy original. This recording is also the renewal of the collaboration between Rova and Kaiser which resulted in many early LP gems of creative music: "As Was", "Cinema Rovaté", "The Removal of Secrecy", and "Daredevils."
 
Meanwhile, also in the spring, from the Paris label Rogue Art will come the release of a recording I have always loved: Wild Red Yellow by Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core.  The nature of the two extended tracks on Wild  Red  Yellow demanded the use of three drummers instead of the two heard in all earlier recordings and concerts, and I needed "percussion" rather than a second drum kit in many places on those two tracks, so this CD sees William Winant and Matthias Bossi joining Scott Amendola as the three percussionists, with Ochs, Fujii, and Tamura riding their waves of sound. Those two tracks are dedicated to film-makers and composed in a similar form to the pieces on the later Fictive Five CD, which would not have been as good had this Rogue Art recording not preceded it in the studio. Recorded in 2010 (!), it took me and master engineer Phil Perkins years to mix, due to all the percussive sound-elements involved, our need to be able to hear the mix in several different iterations before deciding on final balances, and the many choices of how to order our musical "scenes" within each piece. I look forward to this one seeing the light of day.