Image for Jazz Legend Sam Rivers Dead Aged 88

Jazz Legend Sam Rivers Dead Aged 88

Written by Michael Carr on December 29, 2011

Sam Rivers, one of the 60’s and 70’s most pivotal if unappreciated bandleaders and composers has died today aged 88. Rivers, a multi-instrumentalist most noted for his skill with the tenor and soprano sax, played briefly as part of The Miles Davis Quintet before being replaced by Wayne Shorter and subsequently finding fame as a bandleader in his own right with his highly regarded 1964 debut Fuchsia Swing Song.

It was in the 70s though that Rivers would have his greatest impact with the foundation of the Studio Rivbea, a performance space he established inside his studio loft apartment in New York, the space soon to become a hotbed for avant-garde and experimental performers.

Never one to sit still stylistically, or in any sense really, Rivers started out in bebop but was fast to embrace free jazz recording both with small groups and big bands. Watch some of his performances here below.

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