On Monday, December 26, jazz legend Sam Rivers passed away due to pneumonia. Known mostly as a saxophone player, he also played clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano.
On September 25, 1923, Samuel Carthone Rivers was born in Enid, Oklahoma. In 1947, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts and studied at the Boston Conservatory.
In 1964, Rivers briefly played with the legendary Miles Davis. In a quintet, the group recorded Miles in Tokyo. In his autobiography, Miles Davis mentions Sam Rivers.
After the Miles’ album, Sam Rivers was signed to Blue Note, in which he recorded four albums. Also at Blue Note, he was sideman for Bobby Hutcherson, Jason Moran and Tony Williams.
In the seventies with his wife Bea, Rivers ran a loft called Studio Rivbea, a jazz performance spot located in New York City’s NoHo district.
During his later years, Sam Rivers lived and worked in Orlando, Florida. Truth be known, I only saw him perform once. At Will’s Pub, he used to rehearse his RivBea All-Star Orchestra, my only time witnessing his greatness.
Most of the times, I would see him at parties and local bars. Always he was friendly.
I heard of his death at The Peacock Room. To honor him, the bar played his music.
An influential musician who died at 88, Sam Rivers will be missed.
(Most of my info, I got from Wikipedia.)
The following are my personal pics of Sam in Orlando.
Sam Rivers and me.