143

Sam Rivers' Rivbea All-Star Orchestra: Inspiration

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Culled from the name of his well-known 1970’s New York City jazz loft “Studio Rivbea”, the esteemed saxophonist-composer Sam Rivers returns to the recording scene with the “Rivbea All-Star Orchestra”. Here, Rivers along with an ensemble of multi-talented modern jazz musicians of whom are probably half his age, perform several pieces which, as Rivers states..”Could easily last 50 minutes each”. Sam Rivers has often flirted with fame, which included a brief stint with Miles Davis yet mainly recognized for his cutting edge LPs on Blue Note Records and performance on Dave Holland’s classic “Conference Of The Birds” among other achievements. Also, during the New York City loft days, Rivers encouraged many ambitious jazz musicians who threw caution to the wind while capitalizing on the adventurous opportunities to explore and create, sans the major label dictation and marketing efforts.

On his much-anticipated debut for RCA, Rivers displays his considerable compositional and arranging skills in conjunction with his well documented and quite revered technical proficiencies. The first composition titled, “Vines” packs a mighty punch through punctually stated choruses from the huge horn section, complete with generous soloing interspersed within the arrangement. This piece is a vibrant, well coordinated although odd-metered swing. “Nebula” boasts a similar attack via the upfront horn section featuring melodic overtones and crisp rhythms. Here, the feisty soloing from various members of the orchestra enhance the somewhat bold, brash motifs.

With this recording, Rivers’ “brassy” big band production/arrangements at times rekindles thoughts of Dizzy Gillespie’s big band excursions as Gillespie’s legacy plays a major role within Rivers’ music, which is evident on the title cut, “Inspiration”. Referring to this piece in the liners, Rivers states...”Inspiration is based on the harmonic variations in the Dizzy Gillespie composition “Tanga”. Here, the big band emphasize the familiar theme yet incorporate a larger than life vibe while expounding upon the central motif. Rivers’ “Whirlwind” embarks on a triumphant sounding chorus over a hard-hitting funk-rock beat as the soloists continue to stretch out in exhilarating fashion. Rivers adds spice while utilizing the flute on “Rejuvenation” as alto saxophonist Steve Coleman contributes fleet-fingered phraseology along with Gary Thomas’ angular tenor sax solo while members of the brass section air it out!

Sam Rivers’ Inspiration comes from a man who has inspired so many others. Big band fanatics and modern jazz aficionados should enjoy the heck out of this one. A most gratifying and noteworthy effort from the venerable Sam Rivers and his modern jazz all-stars! * * * * 1/2

Personnel:

Sam Rivers; Composer, Producer

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Troy Collins
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Natural" CD/LP/Track Review Natural
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!