It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. -- Dizzie Gillespie

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Jazz legend Sam Rivers dies

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Rivers was among the leading figures in the postwar jazz avant-garde and free jazz.

 

Sam Rivers, an inexhaustibly creative saxophonist, flutist, bandleader and composer who cut his own decisive path through the jazz world, spearheading the 1970s loft scene in New York and later establishing a rugged outpost in Florida, died on December 26. He was 88. Rivers embraced bebop in the 1950s and toured with singer Billie Holiday before joining the Miles Davis group in 1964, appearing on the "Miles in Tokyo" live album that same year.

 

He went on to make a number of groundbreaking albums of his own for Blue Note records, starting with "Fuchsia Swing Song," and performed with the likes of bassist Dave Holland and drummer Tony Williams.

In the 1970s, he and his wife Bea threw open the doors of their downtown New York loft, Studio Rivbea, to other musicians and jazz fans. It fast became a keystone of the decade's innovative performance-loft scene.

In the 1980s, Rivers played with Gillespie's United Nations Band for four years and settled in Orlando where he found a rich pool of talent from which to create his own big band.

 

 

Last modified on Friday, 15 August 2014 12:42

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