Published Oct 28, 2014Montreal-based composer/alto saxophonist Erik Hove is a musical chemist. He mixes differing amounts of jazz, classical and contemporary composition together to form a unique polymerized stylistic compound. Hove's alto swings, its twists and turns informed by his studies with Greg Osby, but the ensemble prickles with acidic, spiky, even-beat-division backing motifs that ring with resonances found more typically in the laboratory of spectralist composers like Tristan Murail and Gérard Grisey than a jazz big band.
The well-rehearsed ten-piece ensemble navigates Hove's demanding charts confidently, executing the trills, microtonal shifts and shots of pieces like "Inner Chamber" with flair. Flutist Anna Weber dives into her striking solo on that track with energy and inventiveness. The vinegary chords of "Brain Freeze" provide a provoking counterfoil to its slinking and leaping alto solo. Josh Zubot's violin zooms in and out of the lurching string section/drum rhythms of "Disjunct," a track that could well serve as an introduction to Hove's overall approach to composition and improvisation. Saturated Colour is adventurous music-making of a high order. (Independent)