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Dimensions & Ext...

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Mar. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000002URL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,633 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although I was aware that this was Sam River's last Blue Note recording I wasn't familiar with it until very recently. It's very similar to the other new wave Blue Note recordings of the sixties, by such as Andrew Hill and Eric Dolphy. It is also highly original. The band consists of Donald Byrd on trumpet, Julian Priester on trombone, Rivers, James Spaulding on alto, Cecil McBee on bass and Steve Ellington on drums. On 'Involution' Rivers and Spaulding are featured on flutes with the rhythm and on 'Afflatus' Rivers is alone on tenor with the rhythm section.
Donald Byrd, who had no previous recorded experience in this type of music, is fairly cautious on 'Precis' but is bolder on the later tunes and plays attractive clean lines with no remaining Clifford Brown influence. Priester, who did have experience with Booker Little and Sun Ra plays well and sounds totally at home in some fairly complex music. James Spaulding, a somewhat underrated altoist, is absolutely convincing, playing aggressive, flowing (is that a contradiction in terms?) lines with a piercing vocalised tone. McBee has a formidable technique and combines well with Ellington who keeps up a constant barrage of punctuation. The rhythm section are a bit under recorded and so do not dominate the ensemble. They fit into it and the whole band is not driven along but rolls along as a single entity. On second thoughts they are probably not under recorded: this was just how Rivers saw it. He himself plays extremely well, without ever grandstanding. He plays soprano on 'Paean', otherwise tenor with the exception of flute on 'Involution' and wrestles with the band, playing through and under it, and soaring over it. He is best on 'Afflatus' which the sleeve very aptly describes as a 'kind of tenor incantation'.
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Format: Audio CD
The underrated composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers(1923-2011) is in superb form on his fourth album for BLUE NOTE recorded in New Jersey on March 17, 1967.
With Rivers(tenor sax, soprano sax, flute) were James Spaulding(alto sax, flute); Donald Byrd(trumpet); Julian Priester(trombone); Cecil McBee(bass) & Steve Ellington(drums).
The six varied tracks are all Rivers originals and the music can be described as avant garde but rooted in the jazz tradition.
The playing time may be short on this RVG Edition(2008) of 'Dimensions and Extensions' but the challenging and adventurous music packs a punch and should be a cornerstone of any avant garde jazz collection.
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