Saturday, February 28, 2009
What to write about Sam Rivers, one of the almighty last standing giants of the free jazz movement? The word "genius" usually gets thrown around in the same sentence as his name by free jazz fans so lets just put it at that, shall we? Lots of Sam's music from the 70's remains unreleased on cd format (amazing recordings such as THE QUEST, PARAGON, THE TUBA TRIOS). This album, CRYSTALS, was originally recorded in 1974 and was devised as sort of a big band ensemble for free jazz musicians (along the lines of Coltrane's ASCENSION or the majority of Sun Ra's later works). What CRYSTALS does showcase is some fiery playing, some exhausting moments of sonic power, and some wild compositional skills. In other words: a blowout!