Archive Series - Vol. 5 - Undulation
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SAM RIVERS ARCHIVE PROJECT
VOLUME 5: UNDULATION
NoBusiness Records presents Undulation, the fifth release of the Archive Series dedicated to Sam Rivers.
It was the early ‘80s; guitars were shaping the jazz to come with unprecedented brashness, with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, and James Blood Ulmer’s Music Revelation Ensemble leading the charge. It is a narrative that excludes San Rivers’ 1981 quartet with Jerry Byrd and the 1982 edition with Kevin Eubanks units rounded out by electric bassist Rael-Wesley Grant and drummer Steve Ellington. There’s a simple answer to why this is the case. River’s quartets flew under the radar of the New York jazz elite. They played everywhere but New York. Rivers’ sole quartet gig in NYC during this period was set at the Public Theatre the weekend before Christmas in 1981. Additionally, only the quartet with Byrd was represented on LP with the release of Crosscurrent on the Blue Marge label without the widespread distribution that enjoyed Black Saint, Soul Note, ECM, and other European labels.
Undulation answers central questions about this phase of Rivers’ activities, particularly the intentionality of the back and forth between ensemble and solo pieces and the hardening of funk grooves. The music encapsulated here begins to flesh out a scantily documented and underappreciated middle-age chapter in San Rivers’ long career, the ‘80s being a decade bookended by the closing of Studio Rivbea and his joining Dizzy Gillespie’s quintet and deciding to move to Florida.
Sam Rivers - tenor saxophone, flute, piano
Jerry Byrd - guitar
Rael-Wesley Grant - electric bass guitar
Steve Ellington - drums
1. Tenor saxophone section I 11:17
2. Tenor saxophone solo 4:26
3. Tenor saxophone section II 5:37
4. Drum solo 8:14
5. Piano solo 5:52
6. Piano section I 4:21
7. Piano section II 6:19
8. Guitar solo 5:25
9. Flute section I 4:53
10. Flute solo 4:08
11. Flute section II 2:07
12. Bass solo 5:21
13. Flute section III 4:55
Recorded May 17, 1981, Florence, Italy. Re-mastered by Arunas Zujus at MAMAstudios.
Photos (cover and pages 2, 7, 9): Courtesy of Monique Rivers Williams.
Cover and Booklet Design: Jeff DiPerna.
Liner Notes: Bill Shoemaker. Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Ed Hazell.
Co-producer: Valerij Anosov.