As the checks got smaller for jazz musicians, the bands did also. The fewer people to pay, the more profitable the venture. In some ways, this was a tragedy. For other musicians, men like Sam Rivers, it was an opportunity to make the music in his head. Rivers is a giant thinker. While his Blue Note recordings are certainly more accessible to the average listener, it is his remarkable trio output that is the core of his musical thought. Rivers is a player whose playing brooks no argument. There aren't many who can hang, even in a supporting role. There certainly isn't room for other soloists. This is sweeping, grand, muscular music, as regular and jagged as a seismograph, or the jittering of a lie detector. Here, he's supported by two men perfectly suited for their roles, Dave Holland and Barry Altschul. Fine musicians, here they are extensions of the music that pours from Rivers.
by Rob Ferrier