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Rivers, Sam / Cecil McBee / Norman Connors

Emanation (Sam Rivers archive sessions. Vol.1)

Rivers, Sam / Cecil McBee / Norman Connors: Emanation (Sam Rivers archive sessions. Vol.1) (NoBusiness)

The NoBusiness label initiates its Sam Rivers Archive Series with this CD of River's Loft-era trio. the leader on tenor & soprano saxophones, flute & Piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Norman Connors on drums, for two sets at a Jazz Workshop residency in Boston in the summer of 1971, a superb concert showing inspired group interaction and River's intense focus.
 

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product information:


Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBCD 118
Squidco Product Code: 27801

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Poland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the Jazz Workshop, in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 3rd, 1971, by Ed Michel.


Personnel:

Sam Rivers-tenor saxophone. soprano saxophone, flute, piano

Cecil McBee-bass

Norman Connors-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Samuel Carthorne Rivers (September 25, 1923 Ð December 26, 2011) was an American jazz musician and composer. He performed on soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano.

Active in jazz since the early 1950s, he earned wider attention during the mid-1960s spread of free jazz. With a thorough command of music theory, orchestration and composition, Rivers was an influential and prominent artist in jazz music.

Rivers was born in El Reno, Oklahoma. His father was a gospel musician who had sung with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Silverstone Quartet, exposing Rivers to music from an early age. His grandfather was Marshall W. Taylor, a religious leader from Kentucky. Rivers was stationed in California in the 1940s during a stint in the Navy. Here he performed semi-regularly with blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon. Rivers moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1947, where he studied at the Boston Conservatory with Alan Hovhaness.

He performed with Quincy Jones, Herb Pomeroy, Tadd Dameron and others.

In 1959 Rivers began performing with 13-year-old drummer Tony Williams. Rivers was briefly a member of the Miles Davis Quintet in 1964, partly on Williams's recommendation. This edition of the quintet released a single live album, Miles in Tokyo, from a show recorded on July 14 at Kohseinenkin Hall. Rivers' tenure with the quintet was brief: he had engagements in Boston, and his playing style was too avant-garde for Davis during this period; he was replaced by Wayne Shorter shortly thereafter.

Rivers was signed by Blue Note Records, for whom he recorded four albums as leader and made several sideman appearances. Among noted sidemen on his own Blue Note albums were Jaki Byard, who appears on Fuchsia Swing Song, Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard. He appeared on Blue Note recordings by Tony Williams, Andrew Hill and Larry Young.

Rivers derived his music from bebop, but he was an adventurous player, adept at free jazz. The first of his Blue Note albums, Fuchsia Swing Song (1964), adopts an approach sometimes called "inside-outside". Here the performer frequently obliterates the explicit harmonic framework ("going outside") but retains a hidden link so as to be able to return to it in a seamless fashion. Rivers brought the conceptual tools of bebop harmony to a new level in this process, united at all times with the ability to "tell a story", which Lester Young had laid down as a benchmark for the jazz improviser.

His powers as a composer were also in evidence in this period: the ballad "Beatrice" from Fuchsia Swing Song has become an important standard, particularly for tenor saxophonists. For instance, it is the first cut on Joe Henderson's 1985 The State of the Tenor, Vols. 1 & 2, and Stan Getz recorded it during the 1989 sessions eventually issued as Bossas & Ballads Ð The Lost Sessions.

During the 1970s, Rivers and his wife, Bea, ran a jazz loft called "Studio Rivbea" in New York City's NoHo district. It was located on Bond Street in Lower Manhattan and was originally opened as a public performance space as part of the first New York Musicians Festival in 1970. Critic John Litweiler has written that "In New York Loft Jazz meant Free Jazz in the Seventies" and Studio Rivbea was "the most famous of the lofts". The loft was important in the development of jazz because it was an example of artists creating their own performance spaces and taking responsibility for presenting music to the public. This allowed for music to be free of extra-musical concerns that would be present in a nightclub or concert hall situation. A series of recordings made at the loft were issued under the title Wildflowers on the Douglas label.

Rivers was also recruited by Clifford Thornton to lead a student world-music/free-jazz ensemble at Wesleyan University in 1971.

During this era Rivers continued to record, including several albums for Impulse!: Streams, recorded live at Montreux, Hues (both records contain different trio performances later collated on CD as Trio Live), the quartet album Sizzle and his first big-band disc, Crystals; perhaps his best-known work from this period though is his appearance on Dave Holland's Conference of the Birds, in the company of Anthony Braxton and Barry Altschul.

In the early 1990s Sam and wife Beatrice moved to Florida, in part to expand his orchestra compositions with a reading band in Orlando. This band became the longest-running incarnation of the RivBea Orchestra. He performed regularly with his Orchestra and Trio with bassist Doug Mathews and drummer Anthony Cole (later replaced by Rion Smith.) From 1996 to 1998 he toured and recorded three projects for Nato Records in France with pianist Tony Hymas and others. In 1998, with the assistance of Steve Coleman, he recorded two Grammy-nominated big-band albums for RCA Victor with the RivBea All-Star Orchestra, Culmination and Inspiration (the title-track is an elaborate reworking of Dizzy Gillespie's "Tanga": Rivers was in Gillespie's band near the end of the trumpeter's life). Other late albums of note include Portrait, a solo recording for FMP, and Vista, a trio with drummers Adam Rudolph and Harris Eisenstadt for Meta. During the late 1990s he appeared on several albums on Postcards Records.

In 2006, he released Aurora, a third CD featuring compositions for his Rivbea Orchestra and the first CD featuring members of his working orchestra in Orlando.

Rivers died from pneumonia on December 26, 2011 at the age of 88 in Orlando, Florida.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Sam Rivers among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Rivers)
7/16/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"From the time he first arrived in New York City in 1964, Cecil McBee has remained one of the most in-demand bassists in jazz, appearing on hundreds of influential recordings as well as in clubs and concert halls throughout the world. During this same span of five decades, McBee has also become a celebrated composer and teacher, leading his own ensembles and earning a distinguished professorship at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he has taught for over 25 years. This unparalleled experience is now captured in two remarkable publications: a revolutionary course of instruction to the art of the doublebass and a collection of McBee's own remarkable compositions, many of which have already joined the canon of jazz standards.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1935, McBee switched from clarinet to the upright bass at the age of 17 and quickly became a sought after voice on his instrument. Following his music studies at Ohio Central State University, the bassist spent two years in the army, conducting the band at Fort Knox. In 1959 he performed with Dinah Washington and moved to Detroit, where his engagement with Paul Winter's ensemble in 1963-64 brought him eventually to his adopted home, New York City. Within two years McBee had recorded landmark sessions with such major figures as Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and Sam Rivers, and held the bass chair in Charles Lloyd's extraordinary quartet with Jack DeJohnette and Keith Jarrett.

Since that time he has recorded and toured with many of the greatest contemporary jazz artists, including Miles Davis, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Alice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Mal Waldron, Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Abdullah Ibrahim, Art Pepper, Anthony Braxton, Elvin Jones, Clifford Jordan, Chet Baker, and Johnny Griffin. McBee has also recorded seven albums as a leader of his own ensembles. In 1988 he received a Grammy Award for his performance on the tribute recording, Blues for Coltrane, a sextet that also featured Pharoah Sanders, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, and Roy Haynes.

Many of the touring groups and recordings on which McBee has appeared have also featured his exceptional compositions; Charles Lloyd's breakthrough album, Forest Flower, released in 1966, includes McBee's now standard ballad, "Song of Her." Among his other most-recorded tunes are "Wilpan's," "Peacemaker," "Slippin'n Slidin'," "Blues on the Bottom," "Consequence," and another often-recorded ballad, "Close to You Alone." With the drummer Billy Hart, McBee is the core of the rhythm section in two different longstanding groups of iconic artists, Saxophone Summit and The Cookers, each of which perform and record many of McBee's more recent and classic compositions.

For nearly four decades, Cecil McBee has been teaching privately and at distinguished colleges and universities, including artist in residence at Harvard from 2010 to 2011. Throughout this time, he has been refining his teaching techniques and developing an instruction book for the doublebass that is revolutionary in its approach and widely applicable to improvisation for every instrumentalist."

-Cecil McBee Website (https://www.cecilmcbeejazz.com/biography)
7/16/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Norman Connors (born March 1, 1947) is an American jazz drummer, composer, arranger, and producer who has led some influential jazz and R&B groups. He also achieved several big R&B hits of the day, especially with love ballads. He is possibly best known for the 1976 hit, "You Are My Starship" on which lead vocals were sung by Michael Henderson.

Connors lived in the same Philadelphia neighbourhood as comedian Bill Cosby (just 4 doors away) and had an interest in jazz from a very early age when he began to play drums. Whilst at elementary school, Connors was exposed to jazz extensively and became heavily influenced by the drummer Lex Humphries and the younger brother of bassist and Jazz-Messenger player, Spanky DeBrest. He first met his idol, Miles Davis, aged just 13 in 1960.

He once sat in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane performance he attended while in middle school. Connors studied music at Temple University and Juilliard. His first recording was on Archie Shepp's 1967 release, Magic of JuJu. He played with Pharoah Sanders for the next few years until signing in 1972 with jazz label, Cobblestone Records, a division of Buddah Records, and releasing his first record as a bandleader.[citation needed]

Connors began to focus more on R&B material in the mid-1970s after signing with Buddah Records and then becoming the label's A&R manager. He scored several US hits with songs featuring guest vocalists such as Michael Henderson, Jean Carn, and Phyllis Hyman. The most successful of these was "You Are My Starship" (#4 R&B, #27 Pop), featuring Henderson in 1976, while "Valentine Love", his first chart success, made #10 R&B in 1975, with vocals from Henderson and Jean Carne. Dee Dee Bridgewater also performed with him on the jazz album "Love from the Sun". He has also produced recordings for various artists, including collaborators like Jean Carn, Phyllis Hyman, Al Johnson, Norman Brown, and saxophonist Marion Meadows.

Connors switched to the Arista label when Buddah was bought out in 1978 and achieved a crossover to the disco scene in 1980 when he had the hit 'Take it to the Limit', which was released on 12" single. The B side, "Black Cow" (an instrumental) was written by Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

In 1988 he had a hit on Capitol Records with "I Am Your Melody" (with B-side "Samba for Maria") from his LP Passion which he produced featuring Spencer Harrison. Connors also introduced another up and coming singer on the Passion LB by the name of Gabrielle Goodman who sang Minnie Riperton's "Loving You", "My One And Only Love", "Private Stock" and duets with Harrison on the LP.

His later work, Star Power, features smooth jazz and urban crossover music."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Connors)
7/16/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Emanation. Part I 31:08

2. Emanation. Part II 45:31
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Musician discographies are like icebergs. Commercially released recordings often only represent a surface-visible and procurable fraction of actual output; a reflection of those comparatively few instances when resources, fortitude, and good fortune aligned to yield salable product. Samuel Carthorne Rivers situation was no different. Despite a career that spanned seven decades in music, his extant catalog doesn't even equate to an album a year with numerous gaps across the continuum. Emanation, first in a series of eight projected releases stewarded by the Lithuanian No Business label, seeks to remedy that relative scarcity by cherry-picking from the late Rivers' personal recording trove, itself a studiously preserved archive that tallies to literally thousands of hours of unreleased music.

Rivers adopted the trio format for his freer excursions starting at the cusp of tenure spent in Cecil Taylor's group between 1969 and 1971. Bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Norman Conners were original members beginning early in that latter year and the band caught the ear of Impulse Records, eventually releasing a full album (Streams) and additional material from live performances in 1973 on the imprint. Rivers' reportedly felt the music recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival for first release somewhat clinical in comparison to what the trio was capable of at their best. The concert restored here captures the players at a Jazz Workshop residency in Boston, summer of 1971, that would be difficult to dismiss as such given the amount of focus and energy brought to bear throughout its duration.

Split into two sets, the music follows a schematic customary to Rivers in both small group and solo sessions at least as late as his seminal Portrait project for the German FMP label in 1995. Features for each of his four primary instruments (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, and piano) unfold across a vibrantly realized seventy-seven minutes with McBee and Conners generating active color and commentary. Rivers leads with a tenor exploration at once extemporaneous and wholly deliberate with bass and then drums aligning to the brisk forward momentum. Numerous in-the-moment recalibrations ensue with Rivers seizing on and discarding melodic material at whim while stalwartly driving the music without overly dominating it.

Given the inventiveness in evidence throughout the tenor passage, the shift to the first of two flute sections subsequent a virtuosic solo statement from McBee feels bittersweet, if only initially, as Rivers almost immediately justifies the switch with more wind-voiced ingenuity. After a brief resetting pause, bass and drums continue about their business from their respective corners, bolstering the leader's aerial improvisations with the sort of responsive expositions born from deep listening. Equally compelling segments for piano and soprano follow, but the biggest surprise arrives late in the performance when Rivers, again officiating on flute, fractures his expulsions into delirious glossolalia punctuated by a sudden and cautionary, "lookout, lookout you motherfucker!" "-Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine


Get additional information at Dusted Magazine
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Boston Area Improvisers
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


 
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