Born: May 3, 1949 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Since 1978, Ochs's professional activities have been primarily centered around the Rova Saxophone Quartet, which has made over thirty European tours and numerous concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as recording over 30 CDs as a quartet and/or in collaboration with other artists.
Other performance groups:
In 1986, Ochs formed the group Room with Chris Brown and William Winant, a trio of saxophone, piano, computer electronics and percussion. The group continued performing and recording until 1994, and was one of the first bands to combine acoustic instruments and computer electronics in formal compositions that involved improvisation.
In 1990, he and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz formed The International Creative Music Orchestra for the Pan American Goodwill Games in Seattle with further performances at the Vancouver DuMaurier International Jazz Festival. In 1991, he suggested a collaboration between Room and The Glenn Spearman Trio, a sextet that eventually became an ongoing band, and recorded 4 CDs as Glenn Spearman Double Trio. In 1993, he created a nine-piece group to perform a specially commissioned work for Antwerpen '93 Festival entitled The Secret Magritte.
Also in 1993, he organized a saxophone octet (including the Rova quartet) to perform five compositions of his music at festivals in Austria and Germany. In 1994, Ochs joined with Lisle Ellis and Donald Robinson to form the ongoing trio, What We Live, which has toured in the US and Europe and recorded six CDs.
In 1995, he was a guest soloist with the George Lewis Creative Orchestra at Mills College in Oakland, California. Also in 1995, he performed and recorded with India Cooke's group, Red Handed.
In 1997, he composed the 45 minute work Pleistocene for a 12 piece ensemble which was performed at The San Francisco Jazz Festival (as part of Rova's 20th anniversary concert.) Also in 1997, Ochs first recorded with the John Lindberg Ensemble; a tour and second recording took place in 1999; a third recording and tour followed in 2000.
In 1998, he toured and recorded with guitarist Fred Frith and koto-player Miya Masaoka in a trio called Maybe Monday. A CD was released by this trio on Buzz (Netherlands) in 2000. A second CD with guest Joan Jeanrenaud has been released in 2002 on Winter & Winter (Germany) in time for an 8 city European tour.
In 2000, Ochs organized the trio Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core with drummers Scott Amendola and Donald Robinson; a first recording has been released on Black Saint in 2002, and their first European tour also took place in early 2002.
Ochs has composed some 2 dozen compositions for saxophone quartet as well as many other pieces for mixed ensembles (see groups mentioned in previous paragraph). His most recent composition for saxophone quartet, a thirty-minute piece entitled Certain Space, was commissioned by Chamber Music America / Doris Duke Foundation, and he has twice previously been commissioned by Commissioning Music USA / Meet the Composer Fund. He composed the music for the film Letters Not About Love which won best documentary film award at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival. His monograph on Strategies for Structured Improvisation was published in 1999 as part of the book Arcana, a collection of composers' writings edited by John Zorn (Granary Press, New York). He has also composed for theater and one video play.