Reviews that mention Sam Rivers

March 6, 2017

In Print

Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s
By Michael C. Heller (University of California Press)

By Ken Waxman

Unlike earlier styles named for locations (Kansas City, West Coast) or sounds (Bop, Stride), New York’s so-called Loft Jazz movement of the ‘70s was defined by real estate. The result of policies that allowed large swathes of the southern part of the city to be neglected waiting for potential redevelopment, large, often unoccupied and un-serviced industrial lofts in Soho were soon legally or not occupied by artists drawn by expansive spaces and minimal costs. Many lofts housed experimental jazz musicians, who hosted sessions that eventually became regular concert spaces. Soon not only were locals like drummer Juma Sultan, saxophonist Sam Rivers and trumpeter James DuBois presenting door gigs; but adventurous players from the Mid-West with more business savvy and California music emigrants were sharing the spotlight. Using first-person interviews and archival researchm including reproductions of posters, flyers and LP covers, Michael G. Heller examines the scene’s rise and eventual fall from historical, pedagogical and sociological perspectives. MORE

December 25, 2012

Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul

Reunion: Live in New York
Pi Recording 45

Memento of a storied Free Jazz trio and now memorial to one of its members who has passed, Reunion: Live in New York captures the first concert in a quarter century by reedist Sam Rivers, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul. Rivers’ unit of choice from 1972-1978, after the trio dissolved each of the men went on to pursue his own projects, most spectacularly Holland whose large and small group have positioned him as one of the few major Jazz festival favorites still trying to create memorable work. MORE

December 6, 2004

SAM RIVERS/ADAM RUDOLPH/HARRIS EISENSTADT

Vista
Meta 009

Three generations of improvisers gather for a meeting of the minds on VISTA proving once again that musically age isn’t as important as time signatures.

Saxophonist and flautist Sam Rivers, a sprightly 81, is known for the advanced combo and big band sessions he led in the 1960s and 1970s as well as Studio Rivbea, which gave many avant gardists of that time a place to play in New York. Holding down the traps set is Los Angeles-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt -- 52 years his junior -- who has played with musicians ranging from saxophonist Yusef Lateef to trumpeter Roy Campbell and who has studied percussion both academically and with drum masters in Gambia. MORE

November 11, 2002

FLUID MOTION

With Sam Rivers
Isospin Labs 42058

CAREI THOMAS FEEL FREE ENSEMBLE
Mining Our Bid’ness
Roaratorio Roar 04

More dispatches from the American heartland again prove that original improvised music is alive and well in such unlikely (for jazz snobs) places as Minneapolis, Minn. (Carei Thomas’ band) and the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg region of Florida (Fluid Motion with septuagenarian reedist Sam Rivers).

Both albums are praiseworthy and a strong indication that the neo-cons haven’t forced every musician to become a mainstream android, churning out approved versions of accepted jazz standards. But, paradoxically, the fact that the bands represented perform far away from the critical mass of outside improvisers who cluster in New York, Chicago, the Bay area and Boston means that the writing and playing here isn’t as far out as the musicians probably imagine they are. MORE