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Steve Adams

Several saxophones, flutes and clarinets compose the arsenal of instruments played by this member (since 1988, replacing co-founder Andrew Voigt) of the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Earlier we heard him with theYour Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, and he played also with musicians like Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Donald Byrd, Jaki Byard and Ted Nugent (one of the leading rock ‘n’ roll guitarrists!) and in another colective, the avant rock band Birds of the Mesozoic. With studies in composition and an awareness of the American new music tradition since Charles Ives and Henry Cowell, Steve Adams isn’t the regular jazz musician, even if in his personal conceptions of music the three greatest references of modern jazz playing, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman, have the same importance as the New York School of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff. With Rova, Adams had the opportunity to work with such different people as Fred Frith and Anthony Braxton, he was involved in an electric/electronic revised version of Coltrane’s “Ascension” (with the participation, for instance, of radical experimentalists Otomo Yoshihide and Ikue Mori), and was there when a joint venture between the ensemble and the Kronos String Quartet surprised everybody. Outside Rova, his chamber duo with the also multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia in “Disco Circular Logic” was very well received, and his colaboration with bassist Ken Filiano in the form of Japanese haikus (“In Out Side”) showed that the studio isn’t only “a place to capture a performance”, to use their own words.

Steve Adams's records on clean feed
Lisbon Improvisation Players
The Other Side of This
Steve Adams / Ken Filiano
Surface Tension
Steve Adams Trio
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