Rova Resistance

The Festivale Internationale de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) turns 20 years old in 2003 — and one of the acts invited to help celebrate this fantastical anniversary is Rova, a quartet of saxophonists itself celebrating its 25th anniversary this same year. Three long pieces make up Resistance, starting off with the title track — a plaintive, searching theme that relies on each member, in turn, to press ahead a bright edge of sound into darkness to be followed by the others. "The Drift," written by tenor player Larry Ochs, builds from a solo theme into a pseudo-swing piece for all four horns to join in, dancing in and around a solid central riff. Last up is a take on Wadada Leo Smith's "The M'ad-Din," a shifting and overlapping piece with Middle Eastern tones that puts in mind a landscape of dunes slowly evolving in the changing sun. Throughout the recording all four saxophone sounds are distinct and discrete, yet find each other around every corner — just as you'd expect old friends would. (Victo)