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Sam Rivers: Fucshia Swing Song

Fuchsia Swing Song
Sam Rivers: Fucshia Swing Song
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Years ago I heard the Sam Rivers trio at a miniscule San Francisco jazz club; it remains one of the most memorable live music experiences of my life, even though until I’d heard the Mosaic set listed below, Rivers wasn’t really on my radar screen. Whether this brilliant composer and saxophonist is on yours or not, I urge any jazz lover to consider Music Matters’ superb reissue of Rivers’ 1965 Blue Note debut, Fuchsia Swing Song. With Jaki Byard (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams on drums, Rivers’ tenor sax speaks freely and eloquently, yet with great focus. His tone richly textured and throaty, his style smart yet earthy. His six tunes for this album range from the energetic bop of the title track, to more laidback blues-based numbers in which his band mates prove muy simpatico. Other highlights include the sizzling “Luminous Monolith,” the lovely ballad “Beatrice,” and the gently swinging “Ellipsis.” The recording is among the best from Van Gelder’s solid-state years: immediate and dynamic, with an organic balance, tonal naturalness, and vivid sense of four guys making music in the same space together. 

By Wayne Garcia

Although I’ve been a wine merchant for the past decade, my career in audio was triggered at age 12 when I heard the Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! blasting from my future brother-in-law’s giant home-built horn speakers. The sound certainly wasn’t sophisticated, but, man, it sure was exciting.

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