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Sam Rivers

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September 23, 2003 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Ask saxophonist Sam Rivers about his impending 80th birthday on Thursday and he just laughs. "I don't think about it much," he says. "I'm feeling fine and my son is a doctor. That always helps." Ask about his music, however, and the epigrammatic responses quickly expand into thoughtful explanations of his lifelong fascination with the improvisational processes of jazz. "I've been through a lot of different phases," Rivers says.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"You've gotta see them live. " That's a common response when talking to someone about a new musical discovery. And yet, live albums are viewed with a bit of disdain in the pop and rock realm, where they're often little more than a perfunctory, last-gasp release to fulfill the record company requirement. In the world of improvised music, however, live albums are where the rubber meets the road, where the music can venture from a sketch to a widescreen portrait. In the last few months there are have been a remarkable bounty of live albums in jazz, and each expresses artistry that existed for only one night, but now it's in your hand.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2002 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Saxophonist Sam Rivers was one of the more active participants in the avant-garde jazz world of the 1960s. Unlike many other players, however, he came to the genre with solid mainstream credentials. And his career, ever since, has tended to embrace a fairly broad array of stylistic elements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Sam Rivers, a saxophonist and composer who helped define the avant-garde jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s, died of pneumonia Monday in Orlando, Fla. He was 88. Rivers, whose legacy is defined by both his pioneering spirit in the post-bop jazz scene and a style that married unfettered creativity with a strong foundation of technical ability on a range of instruments, had lived in Orlando since the early 1990s. The son of church-choir musicians who toured with a gospel group, Rivers was born in 1923 in El Reno, Okla., and reared in Chicago and Little Rock, Ark. He started piano lessons as a child and later played trombone before settling on the tenor saxophone.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
"You've gotta see them live. " That's a common response when talking to someone about a new musical discovery. And yet, live albums are viewed with a bit of disdain in the pop and rock realm, where they're often little more than a perfunctory, last-gasp release to fulfill the record company requirement. In the world of improvised music, however, live albums are where the rubber meets the road, where the music can venture from a sketch to a widescreen portrait. In the last few months there are have been a remarkable bounty of live albums in jazz, and each expresses artistry that existed for only one night, but now it's in your hand.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 1987 | ZAN STEWART
Since jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks grew up "liking everything from Mahler to Led Zeppelin to Wes Montgomery," it follows that the philosophy behind his own trio is "Anything, and everything, goes." "I try not to put any binders on the guys as far what they want to do," Eubanks, 29, said recently. "We'll play any direction--free, straight-ahead, funk, odd meters, fusion, I don't care where it goes.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1999 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In saxophonist Sam Rivers' world, order follows chaos, beauty springs from cacophony. Rivers' opening set of a six-day run with his trio at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday was all about resolution. No matter how far out his mostly short, original pieces began, in the end they found their way inside to a pleasing accessibility. Rivers has carried his reputation as a maverick since a brief stint with Miles Davis in 1964.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Sam Rivers, a saxophonist and composer who helped define the avant-garde jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s, died of pneumonia Monday in Orlando, Fla. He was 88. Rivers, whose legacy is defined by both his pioneering spirit in the post-bop jazz scene and a style that married unfettered creativity with a strong foundation of technical ability on a range of instruments, had lived in Orlando since the early 1990s. The son of church-choir musicians who toured with a gospel group, Rivers was born in 1923 in El Reno, Okla., and reared in Chicago and Little Rock, Ark. He started piano lessons as a child and later played trombone before settling on the tenor saxophone.
NEWS
February 16, 1999 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
John A. "Jaki" Byard, eclectic jazz pianist, composer and teacher who recorded with such luminaries as Charles Mingus and Rahasaan Roland Kirk, has been found shot to death. He was 76. Byard was shot in the head Thursday in his home in Queens, N.Y., which he shared with his two daughters. The family said no shots were heard, and a police investigation is continuing. His life and his music paralleled the evolution of jazz.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
The theory of relativity may be easier to understand than the saga involving the return today of rare films depicting physicist Albert Einstein that fell off the back of a delivery truck last week. Nearly 4,000 feet of film depicting the scientist at various functions in the 1930s was picked up from the University of South Carolina on Feb. 27 by Federal Express for shipment to a New Jersey firm that was to transfer the footage to videotape. But the films never made it out of Columbia.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2003 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Ask saxophonist Sam Rivers about his impending 80th birthday on Thursday and he just laughs. "I don't think about it much," he says. "I'm feeling fine and my son is a doctor. That always helps." Ask about his music, however, and the epigrammatic responses quickly expand into thoughtful explanations of his lifelong fascination with the improvisational processes of jazz. "I've been through a lot of different phases," Rivers says.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2002 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Saxophonist Sam Rivers was one of the more active participants in the avant-garde jazz world of the 1960s. Unlike many other players, however, he came to the genre with solid mainstream credentials. And his career, ever since, has tended to embrace a fairly broad array of stylistic elements.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1999 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In saxophonist Sam Rivers' world, order follows chaos, beauty springs from cacophony. Rivers' opening set of a six-day run with his trio at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday was all about resolution. No matter how far out his mostly short, original pieces began, in the end they found their way inside to a pleasing accessibility. Rivers has carried his reputation as a maverick since a brief stint with Miles Davis in 1964.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 1987 | ZAN STEWART
Since jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks grew up "liking everything from Mahler to Led Zeppelin to Wes Montgomery," it follows that the philosophy behind his own trio is "Anything, and everything, goes." "I try not to put any binders on the guys as far what they want to do," Eubanks, 29, said recently. "We'll play any direction--free, straight-ahead, funk, odd meters, fusion, I don't care where it goes.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 23, 1990 | LEONARD FEATHER
Tenor saxophonist Bennie Wallace, whose quartet opened Tuesday at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood, has been a recording artist for 13 years and, along the way, has been likened to everyone from Coleman Hawkins to Sam Rivers. That he is a performer of ferocious power is beyond debate. The larger question is whether he has been able to bring to his eclecticism a consistently personal sound and style.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2001 | DON HECKMAN
There may be no iconic figures present in this year's Grammy nominations, but there's still plenty from which to choose. * Jazz vocal album: The ladies have a lock here, with Nnenna Freelon poised to make an upward career move. But the equally worthy Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater are almost as likely to win. * Jazz instrumental album: Perennial nominee Michael Brecker should score here or in the instrumental solo category.
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