Monday, April 25, 2011

Thanks for the jazz, Easter Bunny!

The EASTER BUNNY included an iTunes card in my basket, and I used it to purchase "CONTOURS," the 1965 album by saxophone player SAM RIVERS.
Rivers' music represents the avant-garde edge of my tastes in JAZZ. Any farther out, say, Cecil Taylor or some of Albert Ayler, and you've lost me.

Instead, Rivers, like Eric Dolphy, glides along the very edge of my jazz comfort zone. I love to listen with headphones, following the notes of the solos as they fly.

It helps that Rivers surrounds himself with an all-star cast. Rivers' sidemen on this outing include pianist HERBIE HANCOCK and trumpeter FREDDIE HUBBARD. Both are spectacular musicians -- giants of the jazz world. The rhythm section, bassist RON CARTER and drummer JOE CHAMBERS, are among the best in jazz annals.

I'm listening to "Contours" now, waiting for the rain on a rare Monday off work. I'll listen to it several times today. It's an album that invites multiple exploratory visits.


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