david weiss

Sam Rivers RIP

141 posts in this topic

(Since my intended post went long, I thought it might as well just start the blog I'd been waiting to get off the ground. Thoughts here: Grex Blog, though the most relevant paragraph is below:)

I’ve been so bummed out by all the death news that I excused myself from jazz internetalia for a minute… it’s surely a downer that we’ve lost the likes of Motian and Rivers, and it’s a lesser shame that (in light of all the recent ego battles and who/what sucks conversations) memorializing the dead seems to be one of the few unifying factors among jazz punditry. Really, it’s all on us–most of the people we’ve lost lived long, full musical lives, and they died in the “best” way possible for folks in our line of work–with boots on, and kicking. Half of me wants to spend the holidays listening to Motian’s autumnal recordings and getting reacquainted with stuff like Waves and the Rivers/Holland duos (that I haven’t broken out in ages), the other half knows that it’s time to step up, put some back into making my own music, and make sure the circle goes unbroken. I mean, the way Sam went out, still energetic, intellectually lucid, creatively viable and full of ideas–new music–that’s as much of a Butch and Sundance ending as anyone can hope for.

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It *is* sad, and for some reason the loss of both Sam Rivers and Paul Motian seems like an especially significant moment in the receding of a certain history.

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Just playing some Rivers now and recalled that I saw him at The Roundhouse in London in 1979. I remember him playing piano and reeds but the the accompanying band has gone from my memory. The best guess is Joe Daley, Dave Holland and Steve Ellington. Anyone here able to confirm or otherwise.

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Just playing some Rivers now and recalled that I saw him at The Roundhouse in London in 1979. I remember him playing piano and reeds but the the accompanying band has gone from my memory. The best guess is Joe Daley, Dave Holland and Steve Ellington. Anyone here able to confirm or otherwise.

I can't confirm, but there are boots of that lineup without Daley in Foggia, Italy the following year, so Ellington is a good bet, and Sam maintained his relationship with Daley, so it's a good guess at any rate if you remember a tuba.

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Thanks Pete, my memory is still pretty vague. I'd guess that Holland and Ellington are certainties but Daley?????

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Thanks Pete, my memory is still pretty vague. I'd guess that Holland and Ellington are certainties but Daley?????

Well, that format would be the same as on Waves, but with Ellington instead of Thurman Barker. However, according to this sessionography, Barker was with Rivers in Europe in fall of '79 and Ellington in '80, but Daley doesn't seem to have been included, however, Rivers played Hamburg in May of '79 with the Waves lineup, and at the North Sea Festival summer of '79 with a quartet of Holland, Daley & Bobby Battle, so either you have your years or your drummers mixed up.

http://www.bb10k.com/RIVERS.disc.html#78.08.08

Edited by Pete C

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Somebody has put together a Spotify playlist of all available Rivers leader and sideman appearances:

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Thanks for that Pete.

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I was just talking with a friend and discussing synthesizer players who don't use it merely as another keyboard in jazz, and I mentioned that Muhal, Patric Gleeson and Tucker Martine (on the Postcards album with Rivers & Priester) fit in this category. Then I did a search on Martine and found this concert with Rivers & Priester:

http://www.archive.org/details/OM5PriesterRiversUntitled3

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I was just talking with a friend and discussing synthesizer players who don't use it merely as another keyboard in jazz, and I mentioned that Muhal, Patric Gleeson and Tucker Martine (on the Postcards album with Rivers & Priester) fit in this category. Then I did a search on Martine and found this concert with Rivers & Priester:

http://www.archive.org/details/OM5PriesterRiversUntitled3

I'd add Pete Levin to that list....

bigtiny

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On 12/27/2011 at 10:20 PM, MomsMobley said:

SR: No, he was born in Boston. After I got out of the Service during the Forties… When I entered the Navy, I was one of the first who didn’t go in as a musician or a steward. Robert Smalls and I went in as regular Navy men. We had a choice of whatever field we wanted to go into, Bosuns, Mates…...

***

I wouldn't expect foreign readers to know Robert Smalls but how many Americans reading this do? Sam DID. And I don't even "blame" Americans so much as the goddamn system that raised them-- and later consigned Robert Smalls to obscurity.

 

 

MOMSMOBLEY still here? 

Comment had a mention of "Robert Smalls." I'm thinking this quote by Sam "Robert Smalls and I went in as regular Navy men. We had a choice of whatever field we wanted to go into, Bosuns, Mates…" is incorrect. Sam may have ben mis-transcribed here. "Camp Robert Smalls was a segragated Blacks-only barracks and training facility at Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago. It opened in 1942; segregation ended in 1945." (from my sessionography) —This is where Rivers was stationed in Vallejo. Robert Smalls the human was from the 1800s, no??

Hmmmmm... Will check with Panken.

 

Edited by RickLopez

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25 minutes ago, RickLopez said:

MOMSMOBLEY still here? 

Comment had a mention of "Robert Smalls." I'm thinking this quote by Sam "Robert Smalls and I went in as regular Navy men. We had a choice of whatever field we wanted to go into, Bosuns, Mates…" is incorrect. Sam may have ben mis-transcribed here. "Camp Robert Smalls was a segragated Blacks-only barracks and training facility at Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago. It opened in 1942; segregation ended in 1945." (from my sessionography) —This is where Rivers was stationed in Vallejo. Robert Smalls the human was from the 1800s, no??

Hmmmmm... Will check with Panken.

 

I think the "Bosuns, Mates" is wrong too.

Anyone who's watched Robert Shaw's brilliant monologue about his naval experience with sharks in Jaws remembers him describing one of the shark victims as a bosun's mate. 

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