Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Sam Rivers: Contours

332

Sam Rivers: Contours

By

Sign in to view read count
Sam Rivers: Contours
After his Blue Note debut on Fuchsia Swing Song, saxophonist Sam Rivers drifted further "out" on Contours. Reissued as a limited edition connoisseur series CD, this '65 Blue Note outing sparkles anew with 24-bit remastered sound. Playing with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Joe Chambers, Rivers performs four of his more accessible and vigorous compositions. "Point of Many Returns," with its slackened hard bop structure, starts the album with Rivers, Hubbard, and Hancock reinforcing the lively bop bounce set by Carter and Chambers. The second tune, "Dance of the Tripedal," forms a tighter noose about Rivers' imagination, revealing greater freedoms in tone and structure.

Though fully appreciated for his hard bop acrobatics, Hubbard demonstrates an underrated skill on this and other "freer" albums (like Out to Lunch and Components ) to communicate effectively in any and all settings. His solo on the sparse "Euterpe," for example, is muted, giving his message an uncertain voice to match the rhythm section's vague, almost spooky setting. Such a thing would have never fit on one of his Jazz Messengers albums, where uncertainty and doubt were often pounded away. Hancock, as well, is excellent throughout Contours. By this time, Hancock was the pianist of the second great Miles Davis Quintet, and much of his work on this album mirrors his characteristic loose, single-note style. His approach, as on "Point of Many Returns," and both takes of "Mellifluous Cacophony," is equally harmonious and dissonant, lyrical and jagged.

Funny enough, Rivers' presence on the album is strongest in the structure and execution of these four tunes. Though he has good solos throughout, he seems content in hearing the cast execute his vibrant compositions, much as we still do four decades later. Since this is a limited edition reissue, Contours will not be out for long, making this more of a warning than a suggestion: check it out!

Track Listing

Point of Many Returns/ Dance of the Tripedal/ Euterpe/ Mellifluous Cacophony

Personnel

Sam Rivers
saxophone, tenor

Sam Rivers- tenor, soprano sax, flute; Freddie Hubbard- trumpet; Herbie Hancock- piano; Ron Carter- bass; Joe Chambers- drums

Album information

Title: Contours | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Tidal Currents: East Meets West
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra
This Celestial Engine
This Celestial Engine
Flax
Martin Arnold
Whisper Not
Paul Kendall

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.