Ravel introduced the saxophone to classical music with his Rhapsody. Lou Harrison incorporated gamelan in his Indonesian inspired compositions. John Adams included a banjo in his Gnarly Buttons. It is thus no surprise that the electric guitar has also found its way into the classical avant-garde. Bang on a Can, which includes electric guitars and bass, performed Reich's 2 × 5 in a recent recording. The matter is not of instrumentation but of compositional development. As I listen to this album by Now Ensemble, a group of five playing flute, clarinets, bass, piano and electric guitar and two chief composers, I hear classical rock and classical jazz fusion, something similar to the edges which guitarist Pat Metheny explores. The six tracks, three composed by the Ensemble, can be examined individually but the album as a whole needs to be considered also. Judd Greenstein of the ensemble gives us Change, a bright, cheerful layering of staccato riffs and phrases full of movement and projection. Sean Friar's Velvet Hammer is pulsing, nervous, moody, and noisy. Missy Mazzoli's Magic with Everyday Objects has a narrow poetic theme that I liken to a melody bus driving through chaotic terrain, across crumbling bridges, and volcanic flows. The Ensemble's Mark Dancigers continues with Burst, a Torke-like cheery composition with two cycles of introduction and lyrical sections. Waiting in the Rain for Snow by David Crowell is an extensive developed work that is propulsive and lyrical, the steady serial changes of instrumental emphasis and increasing harmonies suggestive of transformation, liquid to ice in this case. Awake by the Ensemble's Patrick Burke begins with gamelan instrumental and rhythmic layering and expands by tempo and harmony to a steady clarity, another instance of change/transformation/transcendence. Individually, these works are fairly narrow in approach but are novel sonic explorations and together the album has coherence. These are pioneering composers; although the avant-garde points the way, but rarely endures, I can envision a major meeting ground of rock, jazz, and classical that will sound very similar to what we hear on this album.