Sam Rivers - Waves (LP-1979)

Genre: Jazz / Free Jazz | Total Time: 44:20 | Size: 431.54 MB | FLAC
Side A
A1 - Shockwave .... 14:58
A2 - Torch .... 7:05

Side B
B1 - Pulse .... 10:33
B2 - Flux .... 6:10
B3 - Surge .... 5:18

Sam Rivers – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piano
Dave Holland –  bass, cello
Joe Daley – tuba, baritone horn
Thurman Barker – drums, percussion

Label: Tomato – TOM-8002
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1979
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Big Apple Studio in New York City on August 8, 1978.
Design – Milton Glaser
Photography By – Steve Salmieri
Engineer – Elvin Campbell, James Jordan
Produced by Rivbea Music Company
Liner Notes – Robert Palmer
All compositions by Sam Rivers
Matrix / Runout (Side A Label): TOM 8002-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B Label): TOM 8002-B

Waves is an album by American jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers featuring performances recorded in 1978 and released on the Tomato label.

An explosive late '70s set with underrated composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger Sam Rivers leading a strong quartet. While bassist and cellist Dave Holland and percussionist Thurman Barker merged to form a strong, challenging rhythm section, Rivers and Joe Daley, playing tuba and baritone horn, worked together to create instrumental dialogues in sequence. Their array of contrasting voicings, with Rivers on tenor and soprano sax and flute, makes for compelling listening.

Here's a LP that I love very much. Tomato Records (TOM-8002) as one of the great documents of 70s creative jazz. Sam Rivers is one of the all-time greats on tenor sax, and a mean soprano, flute, and piano player, as well. Anyone who's caught his trio live in recent years can attest to the fact that his talents are undiminished, even at the age of 80. This particular album was recorded in 1978, and prominently features bassist Dave Holland, one of Rivers' most sympathetic collaborators of the decade. Holland is the anchor here, with Thurman Barker's spare, understated, and masterfully economical drumming going from rapid hi-hat timekeeping to volcanic surges of Varese-like pile-ups. The bass player has an almost unreal sense of time, and his rapid, wandering lines are consistently articulated with impeccable clarity. Also holding the bottom end down is Joe Daley's tuba. He handles What one would assume to be an unweildly instrument for fast-paced improvisation with a deftness that allows him to flow easily amongst the quicksilver play of the other musicians. Daley also plays baritone horn on the opening cut "Shockwave", his lines and Holland's interlocking in a fluid tussle. The piece opens with Rivers on the piano, playing with a robust, but beautiful force that prefigures the style Matthew Shipp would take to the next level some years later. After the aforementioned duet between Holland and Daley, Barker gradually asserts his presence, while Rivers enters on tenor. His angular, clean lines evolve into impassioned shrieks, while the rapid free-bop pace never lets up. "Torch" is a similarly speedy number, with Rivers on flute. After the rhythmic, acoustic quasi-fusion of "Pulse", where Holland's playing most recalls his work with Miles Davis, "Flux" features the bassist's cello playing in a duet with Rivers' piano. The piece recalls twelve-tone classical in its more restrained moments, before building up into a dramatic cloud of sound accented by Barker's bells. Rivers' rich tenor returns on the closing "surge", as does Daley's tuba. Holland stretches out on arco bass while Barker lays low for much of the track, adding manic snare shapes at unpredictable peaks. Overall, this album met with my high expectations.

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