[Dixielandjazz] Old Folks - We still have it.

Stephen Barbone dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com
Sat, 01 Jun 2002 11:35:16 -0400


List mates:

Not OKOM perhaps,  but an affirmation of the relevance of old folks in
jazz. For fellow reedmen, Sam Rivers is a largely overlooked national
treasure.

June 1, 2002 New York Times

A 79-Year-Old Master Joins His Disciple in an Adventure

By BEN RATLIFF

The pianist Jason Moran has brought one of his idols to join his band
this week at Iridium; if he's not quite fitting in like a fourth member,
he's filling in the spaces around a tightly organized unit.

As the week goes on, there will undoubtedly be more meshing between the
guest and the band, but Sam Rivers is also there simply to remind
audiences of who he is and what he represents. Mr. Rivers, a 79-year-old
multi-instrumentalist and composer, has had a wide aesthetic career in
jazz, extending everywhere: blues, bebop, a stint with Miles Davis's
quintet in 1964, his own albums of imaginative small-group jazz for Blue
Note, the full-speed-ahead free jazz of the 1970's.

Though his work has often been overlooked, he is a well-trained musician
and a benevolent adventurer  clearly, someone whom Mr. Moran, one of
the most promising and ambitious figures of his generation in jazz,
would like to emulate.

In Tuesday's early set, Mr. Moran played a number of pieces from "Black
Stars," his recent album, which includes a good deal of Mr. Rivers's
playing. In "Foot Under Foot" and "Gangsterism on a River," Mr. Moran's
trio played in its deceptively loose-limbed style: they proceeded
diffusely, then dived together into a faster tempo with similar
improvised rhythmic accents.

Mr. Rivers, sight reading, had a bit of trouble with the knottier of Mr.
Moran's themes, but his tenor-saxophone improvisations were strong: he
scrabbled around on the keys, sliding between tonal centers with
pungency. The foursome also played Mr. River's "Beatrice" from the early
60's; given that Mr. Moran is invested in exposing his influences, there
could easily be more of Mr. Rivers's own pieces to come this week  not
to mention Mr. Rivers on flute, piano, soprano saxophone and who knows
what else.