When: Fri., Feb. 29, 8 p.m. 2008
Thirty years ago when four local reedmen formed ROVA Saxophone Quartet, they had their work cut out for them. They blazed through new territory as four saxes with no other instruments playing music closer to European improv than American jazz, mixing complex compositions with group improvising aimed somewhere beyond Sun Ra. What was once new has become a clearly defined approach and style with a language that has consistently yielded artistic rewards. Always popular in Europe and Russia, the group has a smaller audience at home in the Bay Area, and thus plays here infrequently. On Friday, Feb. 29, the band, still aiming at the future of music, takes over the intimate Jazzschool (2087 Addison St., Berkeley) for an evening of new music from its members: Bruce Ackley, Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, and Steve Adams. Expect moments that make listeners work as hard as the band, and others that range from funny toecstatic. 8 p.m., $15. Jazzschool.com or 510-845-5373.