All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

332

Sam Rivers: Contours

By

Sign in to view read count
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- tenor, soprano sax, flute; Freddie Hubbard- trumpet; Herbie Hancock- piano; Ron Carter- bass; Joe Chambers- drums

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Contrasts

Contrasts

ECM Records
2014

buy
 

Violet Violets

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2006

buy
Violet Violets

Violet Violets

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Beauty & Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty & Mystery
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan" CD/LP/Track Review Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Never Stop II" CD/LP/Track Review Never Stop II
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Chants To The Sea - The Corium project" CD/LP/Track Review Chants To The Sea - The Corium project
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Bethany Project" CD/LP/Track Review Bethany Project
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 11, 2017