Samuel Carthorn Rivers ( English Sam Rivers ); September 25, 1923 , El Reno - December 26, 2011 , Orlando  ) is an American jazz musician , composer and band leader . He owns the instruments: soprano and tenor saxophone , bass clarinet , flute , harmonica , and also plays the piano .
|Full name||Samuel Carthorne Rivers|
|Date of Birth||September 25, 1923|
|Place of Birth||El Reno , Oklahoma , USA|
|Date of death||December 26, 2011 (88 years old)|
|Place of death||Orlando , Florida , USA|
|Years of activity||1950 - 2011|
|Collectives||Rivbea All-Star Orchestra ,|
Orlando orchestra ,
Sam Rivers Trio
|Labels||Blue note records |
The energetic 88-year-old multi-instrumentalist, although he replaced the bustling New York with a quiet town in Florida , but until the last days he devoted himself entirely to music and was not going to interrupt his creative and concert activities at all.
Childhood and adolescence
Rivers was born in Reno , Oklahoma , September 25, 1923 (it was long thought that he was born in 1930 ), and grew up constantly moving from place to place. Rivers recalls: “My mother and father (Rivers' father was a gospel singer, sang in famous bands like Fisk Jubilee Singers and The Silverstone Quartet ), grandfather and both sisters were musicians. My mother was very meticulous, and made me study music very diligently, focusing on the practical part. I studied, studied, and in the end was able to identify my own philosophy of creating music, which is probably used by many musicians, but at that time I really did not follow anyone. The most important thing is to be a jazz musician, to be an individual, to do something different. Some may earn more, but innovators should continue to work and contribute to the development of music. ”
In 1947, Rivers moved to Boston , Massachusetts, and entered the Boston Conservatory , where renowned composer Alan Hovaness was among his teachers. There he studied and performed with such famous musicians in the future as Quincy Jones , Erb Pomeroy , Thad Dameron and others.
Sam Rivers and Miles Davis
The first popularity came to Rivers in the mid-50s, when he worked as part of the Boston jazz band Erb Pomeroy , but the musician gained national fame in 1964 when he joined Miles Davis Quintet . Rivers and his friend Jackie Macklin had already left Boston by this time. In 1959, Rivers began performing with the 13-year-old child prodigy - drummer Tony Williams , who, by the way, also had a brilliant musical future. Miles Davis, on the recommendation of Tony Williams, invited Rivers to participate in the recording of the Miles in Tokyo album. Sam recalls: “Tony let Miles listen to my notes, and he instantly wanted to invite me to the group. The only reason I went to Miles Davis at that moment was because of my drummer Tony. ”Rivers 'playing style was too chaotic and free, which was completely incompatible with Davis' music, and soon Wayne Shorter took his place in the quintet . “Interesting thing: Miles, without warning me, signed an agreement with Art Blackie , according to which, when Shorter arrived, I went to work for Art. I could not endure such impudence and left the quintet with another member Andrew Hill . "
Blue Note Period
Soon, Rivers, already quite a popular jazz figure, signed a contract with the major Blue Note jazz record label and recorded several records ( Fuchsia Swing Song , Contours , Involution ) along with musicians such as Andrew Hill , Tony Williams , Bobby Hutcherson , Larry Young . It is noteworthy that Rivers finally acted as a band leader on these records, which meant complete freedom in his creative research and non-standard composition construction. Sam also participated as a soloist in the recordings of the albums Yaki Byard , Erby Hancock , Freddy Hubbard , Tony Williams, Andrew Hill and Larry Young.
Rivers has rooted in bebop music, but Sam is a free jazz adherent and creative musician. His first record on Blue Note, Fuchsia Swing Song, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of the approach to the special construction of the composition, called “inside-outside” (“ inside-outside ”). That is, the performer often erases the obvious harmonic structure (“going outside”), but retains a hidden connection to bridge the gaps. Rivers brought the concept of bebop harmony to a new level, and in the mastery of improvisation on the saxophone he surpassed perhaps Lester Young himself .
Sam's composing talent also emerged during this period: the Beatrice song from the Fuchsia Swing Song record became a popular jazz standard for tenor saxophonists. The play is analyzed in detail in The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levin . Although the music on the records of the Blue Note era is considered the vanguard , it was based on classical jazz, and it was a sharp turn away from the main jazz development path, from the mainstream .
Trio and Jazz Attic
Rivers later played in the Cecil Taylors Unit with Jimmy Lyons and Andrew Cyril , describing this stage as a “turning point in the career”.
A similar twist was the creation of the “Intuitively Creative Rivers Trio”, composed of Sam Rivers, double bass player Dave Holland and drummer Barry Alchul , who could inspire and improvise for many hours, and the leader move from tenor to soprano saxophone, then to flute, to piano and back, sometimes exclaiming joyfully. During the 1970s , Rivers and his wife, Beah, organized and managed the New York Jazz Attic, a venue officially called Studio Rivbea , which was located in lower Manhattan , North of Houston Street County.
|“I ended up there at the right time and right place,” Sam believes, “because it happened that there was an influx of musicians, in those days they all wanted to come to New York at all costs, so there was a lack of staff did not have. “I had a venue for performances, where for the time being I was only rehearsing, and as soon as we started giving concerts at it, we became world famous.”|
Rivers continued to release albums on various labels, including several records for Impulse! . Streams (live at Montreux) and Hues - both albums contain various trio performances, later presented as Trio Live , Sizzle - a quartet record, the first disc with an orchestra - Crystals ), as well as perhaps the most famous work of that period, a performance at the Conference of the Dave Holland's Birds in company with Braxton and Alchul.
Wildflowers , a collection of five records that was recorded during just one week of performances, showed who is who in the free jazz movement at the moment. Ahmed Abdullah , Hamier Blyuye , Anthony Braxton , Marion Brown , Dave Burrell , Jerome Cooper , Andrew Cyril, Olu Dara , Julius Hemphill , Oliver Lake , Jimmy Lyons , Ken MacIntyre , Roscoe Mitchell , Riviere Muir , Leo Smith and Henry Thridgill , many of whom were previously known in the United States in narrow circles.
A little after the release of the records, Rivers closed Rivbea and moved to New Jersey . He recalls: “I closed the site and left New York because, as soon as the guys became famous, other clubs started hiring them. I could not pay the money that those clubs offered. You could take a loan. But I did not sell whiskey. And if you wanted a beer, you would get up and bring it to yourself. ”During the 80s, Rivers led several progressive electric jazz quartets, including guitarists Kevin Eubanks , Darrell Thompson and Ed Cherry .
Sam Rivers and Dizzy Gillespie
The latter led Rivers to a very unexpected meeting, with Dizzy Gillespie . " Ed Cherry was my musician, and Dizzy at that time organized a new band and persistently invited Ed."
|“I called Dizzy and said, Merry Christmas, Dizzy, [it was just Christmas], if you need a tenor, call me. He replied: “What is your name and tell me your phone number?” ... Next week he called me. This was the beginning of something new. Ignacio Berroa for drums, John Lee - double bass, Ed Cherry , me and Dizzy. Very good band, excellent band, I loved playing with them. I also played in the United Nations Band , the Dizzy Orchestra. In total, I played with Dizzy for four years, until the brilliant trumpeter died ... "|
Moving to Orlando
At the same time, Rivers moved to Orlando . “We traveled everywhere, and I could go anywhere,” Sam recalls. “We planned to leave New York and, you know, we had the opportunity to go to New Mexico , Arizona , California or Seattle .
There were many offers to teach. But I didn’t want to teach, and just then the musicians from Orlando reported that they have an orchestra waiting for me and longing for my music. That is why I arrived in Orlando, and, you know, the musicians were really good. All the musicians in my orchestra, my jazz orchestra, are music professors. They teach music theory. This is serious. I mean, I was very lucky because I can introduce all my music, everything that I write, and musicians are always able to play it. Among other things, this is a very, very, very big experience for me. ”
More traditional works, Sam Rivers' Inspiration and Culmination records recorded with Rivbea All-Star Orchestra , were nominated for a Grammy , and Aurora (with Orlando orchestra ) most accurately reflects current musical activity.
At the heart of each orchestra is the famous Rivers trio with a 12-year history, now with Doug Matthews and Anthony Cole ; which he proudly characterizes as "unique" in the history of jazz. The union of these three multi-musicians is the most versatile musical group of those that make music today. They also sometimes extrapolate the style of earlier trios or resemble the World Saxophone Quartet .
|“Doug is more a classical musician. He plays bass clarinet, cello , double bass, as well as bass and drums. Anthony plays drums, tenor saxophone, and piano. We have the opportunity to play two pianos, and then, for example, Anthony plays the electric bass, Doug on the drums. This has never been done before. When we finish our speech, people are sure that they saw and heard something unique and similar magic will never happen in their life. That is true, but they have the opportunity to come to my concert again. ”|
At a recent San Diego concert, trombonist George Lewis and pianist Anthony Davis joined the group. Quite a bit was left before the concert of all the stars in The Iridium Rivers .
Rivers lived near Orlando , Florida . He regularly performed with his trio. Orlando, namely the musical jazz component of this city, by and large is in the underground, so the amazing work of Sam Rivers and his Rivbea Orchestra were deprived of the attention of most jazz fans. The exception was 1998, when the famous New York saxophonist Steve Coleman gathered wind masters ( Greg Osby , Chico Freeman , Hamier Blyuye , Ray Anderson and others) and came to Orlando to join the Rivers Trio Orchestra. This alliance successfully gave several concerts during the week, and then locked itself in for two days at Brooklyn Studios. The result of the work were records released by RCA Records , Inspiration, 1999 (the title piece is a complicated remake of Gillespie's “ Tanga ”) and Culmination , 2000 . Both albums were nominated for a Grammy, and also entered the top 10 best jazz albums in the country. Later released Portrait albums, a solo record on the FMP , Vista label, a trio with drummers Adam Rudolph and Harris Eisenstadt on the Meta label. In 2006, Sam recorded an Aurora record, which included both Rivbea Orchestra and Orlando orchestra. Rivers and the Rivbea Orchestra recorded several new songs at Sonic Cauldron Studios in Winter Springs , Florida.
Sam said: “We don’t need compositions, we just have some free themes, melodies, on the basis of which we improvise. There is no track list. We love to surprise ourselves as well as you. I adore this state of ignorance regarding what happens next. And I look forward to it. After all, when you know what will happen next - it is unbearably boring ... ".
Having changed the course of jazz development at one time, Sam Rivers continued to look to the future. “I have some ideas. I would again organize a platform like Studio Rivbea, with my own money. Then it will be possible to change the music ... because I know how to do it. ”
Sam Rivers passed away on December 26, 2011 at his home in Orlando .
As Band Leader
- Fuchsia Swing Song , Blue Note Records 1964 .
- Contours , Blue Note Records 1965 .
- Sam Rivers / Dave Holland, Vol. 1, Improvising Artists, 1976 .
- Sam Rivers / Dave Holland, Vol. 2, Improvising Artists, 1976 .
- Waves , Tomato , 1978 .
- Crosscurrent, Blue Marge 1005 , 1981 .
- Trio Live , 1998 .
In large ensembles
- Crystals , a large ensemble work, Impulse! , 1974 .
- Inspiration , RCA Victor , 1999 .
- Culmination , RCA Victor , 2000 .
- Diaspora Blues - Steven Bernstein with Sam Rivers Trio, Tzadik , 2002 .
- Black Stars , with Jason Moran, Blue Note Records , 2001 .
- In the Name of ... , with Music Revelation Ensemble, DIW, 1993 .
- Conference Of The Birds , with the Dave Holland Quartet, ECM Records, 1973 .
- The Great Concert with Cecil Taylor, Prestige, 1969 .
- [Change] with Andrew Hill, Blue Note Records, 1966
- Dialogue with Bobby Hutcherson, Blue Note Records, 1965 .
- Spring with Tony Williams, Blue Note Records, 1965 .
- Life Time with Tony Williams, Blue Note Records, 1964 .
- Miles in Tokyo - with Miles Davis , Columbia, 1964 .
- Into Somethin ' , with Larry Young, Blue Note Records, 1964 .
- Sam Rivers Web Site
- The Sam Rivers Sessionography and Gigography
- Jazz at Lincoln Center - Chat With Sam Rivers
- FMP Releases
- High octane octogenerian
- Calendar (inaccessible link)
- News (inaccessible link)
- Pandora radio
- Purchase Downloads (link not available)
Sam Rivers Video Links: