28 dicembre 2011

Grave lutto anche per il mondo del jazz, che con Sam Rivers perde una delle sue voci più autentiche.

A unique voice on saxophone and flute, Sam Rivers died of pneumonia on December 26th at age 88. A leader of the New York loft scene in the 1970s, Rivers played with a diverse range of innovative artists, including Tony Williams, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul, and more recently, Steve Coleman and Jason Moran; he also played with bluesmen T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. Although best known for his free approach to improvisation, Rivers was truly an eclectic musician, starting out in bebop, moving into free improv yet continuing his interests in big band throughout his life. Rivers' importance to the American jazz avant-garde extended beyond his recordings and performances. In his demonstration of artistic self-reliance and community-building with his Bond Street loft space Studio RivBea, Rivers (who mostly played saxophone and flute, though he did also play piano) set an example for modern events like the annual Vision Festival; his willingness, even eagerness, to play with musicians decades younger than himself provided a bridge between generations that has always been crucial to jazz's development as an art and a culture.