Sam Rivers

Violet Violets

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Recorded during the same sessions as Purple Violets, Violet Violets features veteran reed player Sam Rivers, bassist Ben Street, and drummer Kresten Osgood, though vibraphonist Bryan Carrott is omitted from these tracks. The lack of a keyboard makes little difference as the trio explores its adventurous music, an aggressive form of post-bop intertwined with avant-garde twists at times. The octogenarian Rivers is still a potent force, dominating Ornette Coleman's "Invisible" with his explosive, expressive tenor sax, fueled by the potent rhythm section. He switches to soprano sax for the tense, abstract "Fast Response" and the even wilder "Lace" (likely a studio improvisation). Rivers' dancing flute is the centerpiece of the exotic "Nature Calls, Pt. 1," while "Nature Calls, Pt. 2" is a tenor sax vehicle bearing little resemblance to its namesake. The most familiar tunes of the sessions include the jaunty "What a Diff'rence a Day Made" (backed by Osgood's fine brushwork) and a loping treatment of Lucky Thompson's mournful "I Forgot to Remember," both featuring Rivers' tenor. The musicians obviously enjoyed their studio collaboration, so future projects will be of considerable interest.

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