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Book Review

The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress

Read "The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress" reviewed by Mike Chamberlain

The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress Rick Lopez 768 Pages ISBN: # 9 780578 948713 The Vortex2022 Twenty-five years in the making, Rick Lopez's 768-page opus The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress is a dizzying, stunning achievement of research and scholarship that stands as a one-of-a-kind standard for a genre that Lopez has practically invented by himself, starting with his previous William Parker sessionography (in print), and his online ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers: Caldera

Read "Caldera" reviewed by John Sharpe

Caldera constitutes an impressive final entry in the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint's Sam Rivers Archive Project. It showcases the legendary multi-instrumentalist's longstanding trio with bassist Doug Matthews and drummer Anthony Cole, which he established two years after his relocation from New York to Florida in 1991 and which remained active until 2006. During its existence, the outfit made three albums, of which the pick is Firestorm (Rivbea, 1998). The threesome provided arguably one of the most empathetic settings ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers: Undulation

Read "Undulation" reviewed by John Sharpe

Sam Rivers, who died in 2011, was one of the luminaries of the avant-garde, a Blue Note artist who played not only with Miles Davis and Cecil Taylor, but also Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday. He lead his own groups for much of his life but also found time to run one of New York's premier lofts during the 1970s. In cooperation with his estate, NoBusiness Records has been digging into his archives, unearthing exceptional unissued live recordings of which ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers Quartet: Undulation

Read "Undulation" reviewed by John Eyles

Undulation is the fifth volume of the NoBusiness label's impressive Sam Rivers Archive Project, following the trio on Emanation and the quintet on Zenith, both issued in 2019, the trio outing Ricochet and the quartet on Braids, both 2020. All volumes comprise previously unreleased live recordings, the first four dating from Boston 1971, Berlin 1977, San Francisco 1978, and Hamburg 1979. Undulations takes us into the '80s, having been recorded at an unknown venue in Florence on May 17th 1981; ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers: Braids

Read "Braids" reviewed by John Sharpe

With the fourth issue in its Sam Rivers archival series, the NoBusiness imprint has unearthed a cracking concert recording of a terrific quartet, completed by bassist Dave Holland, drummer Thurman Barker and tubaist Joe Daley. Very few can match Rivers' breadth of experience, which includes not only with leading lights of the 1960s New Thing like Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler and Bill Dixon, but also stylistic antecedents like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie (the last during the late ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers Quintet: Zenith

Read "Zenith" reviewed by John Sharpe

Concertgoers must have been forced back in their seats by the intensity of Sam Rivers opening foray at the 1977 Berlin Jazztage Festival. After an annunciatory tenor saxophone burst, he goes for the jugular with fierce vocalized overblowing atop a churning four piece rhythm section. But if that sounds forbidding, then like the audience, listeners to this historic recording, released as the second installment of NoBusiness Records' estimable Sam Rivers Archive Project, following Emanation (2019), should be enthralled by the ...


Album Review

Sam Rivers: Emanation

Read "Emanation" reviewed by John Sharpe

This unissued 1971 live date from the Jazz Workshop in Boston is the first in a projected eight volume series sourced from the personal archive of the multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers, who died in 2011. It captures Rivers with his trio of the period, completed by bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Norman Connors, over two freewheeling sets. Rivers was one of the most significant voices in the 1960s avant-garde. He recorded classic albums for Blue Note, was a founder member of ...


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