in popular music and jazz it was just one of the instruments in the band. Towards the end of the century improvising musicians reacted against standard orchestra arrangements, seeking new sounds and instrumental blends. In 1977, in New York, Anthony Braxton recorded a pioneering saxophone quartet album that blended composition and improvisation in the "new jazz" idiom. The same year four young musicians in San Francisco founded the Rova saxophone quartet.
In the course of a third of a century, the core of Rova's musical identity has remained intact, even as its concept and scope have expanded in many directions. This is partly due to the fact that it has had only one change in personnel, but also to the remarkable synergy of its members. Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Bruce Ackley, and Steve Adams are all virtuoso performers as well as active composers who share interests in many different types of music and in the arts in general. Each of them plays multiple saxophones and has complete control of the seemingly limitless tonal palette that these instruments can provide.