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Culmination

Sam Rivers

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Album Review

Sam Rivers' second recording with his Rivbea All-Star Orchestra for RCA is similar to his first one in that he uses an impressive 17-piece band full of top avant-gardists to interpret the dense arrangements of his originals. The music, which is frequently atonal, has so much going on at times that it will take several listens to comprehend everything; it certainly does not lose one's interest! The only fault to this stimulating set is that the soloists are not identified. Although one may recognize the various saxophonists (Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Chico Freeman, Gary Thomas, and Hamiet Blueitt) and trombonist Ray Anderson, most of the brass players will be more difficult to determine. This very adventurous music is remarkable in ways and well worth acquiring by free jazz collectors.

Biography

Born: 25 September 1923 in El Reno, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Few, if any, free jazz saxophonists approached music with the same degree of intellectual rigor as Sam Rivers; just as few have managed to maintain a high level of creativity over a long life. Rivers played with remarkable technical precision and a manifest knowledge of his materials. His sound was hard and extraordinarily well-centered, his articulation sharp, and his command of the tenor saxophone complete. Rivers' playing sometimes had an unremitting seriousness that could be extremely...
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