Format: CD digipack
Since 1978 saxophonist Larry Ochs' activities have been primarily centered on the Rova Saxophone Quartet, but increasingly, survival in the jazz world demands the pursuit of parallel projects. Consequently Ochs participates in groups as diverse as the all-improv Maybe Monday and his uncategorizable Sax and Drumming Core, as well as the trio found on Spiller Alley. Ochs has stated that all his written music has been concerned with the integration of composition and improvisation using non-traditional forms and/or alternative devices. In these two fine but very different live recordings he reveals how a clear overall intent can be delivered through an almost ghostly compositional framework.
Now in its ninth year the unusual trio with Peggy Lee's cello and Miya Masaoka's koto conjures a kaleidoscopic mélange encompassing free improv, country blues, contemporary chamber music and oriental courtliness, but beholden to none of them. Recorded in 2006 at three European venues, Spiller Alley's two collective improvisations buttress three Ochs pieces, though the distinctions between them are subtle, with Ochs' light structures allowing full freedom of expression within their airy demarcations. Though there are many pleasing passages—one comes in the lengthy title track where plucked koto is pitched against arco cello whooshes, suddenly echoed by Ochs' swooping sopranino—this is in truth a group music which demands to be judged on its own terms.
Cat. number: rog 0016