Monday, January 23, 2006

Bittorrent download - Sam Rivers/Barry Altschul Quartet - Oakland, CA 11/10/93: This club performance finds Sam Rivers in a quartet format, performing with drummer Barry Altschul, pianist Uri Caine and bassist Santi DiBriano. It's not quite as free-wheeling as his trio or big band concerts, but the music has some moments of real beauty. The ballads are especially beautiful - one doesn't always think of Rivers as a ballad player, but with some of the performances here, it's made clear that he was comfortable playing at any tempo. The music here is quite reminiscent of the music he made during his brief stay with Blue Note Records during the mid 1960's, especially during the revisiting of "Beatrice" and "Fuschia Swing Song," both chestnuts of that period. His three main instruments are well represented here, with lengthy workouts for tenor and soprano saxophone and a beautiful flute improvisation. Mixing ballads, mid-tempo pieces and frenetic free-jazz, this is another example of why Sam Rivers is one of the most well rounded composers and improvisers of the age.

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