Sam Rivers, Contours

Phil Freeman

By Phil Freeman

on 07.20.11 in Reviews


Sam Rivers

Saxophonist Sam Rivers first came to broad public attention via a short stint with Miles Davis’s quintet, and two of that group’s members — pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Ron Carter — appear on this date, alongside trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and drummer Joe Chambers. Everyone is in top form throughout, as compositions like “Dance of the Tripedal,” “Euterpe” and particularly the evocatively titled “Mellifluous Cacophony” infuse intricate post-bop melodies with the dissonance of the burgeoning free jazz scene. Rivers’s Blue Note debut, Fuchsia Swing Song, was bluesier, but the tunes were older; Contours was an album full of brand-new music, in every sense.