What our staff has to say: “Sam Rivers Debut album on Blue Note. Really hits the sweet spot of leaving bop going into avant garde jazz. I tend to enjoy this period in the development of free jazz. Still with a degree of standards holding it together, yet you can tell the artist is attempting to push what has yet to be explored.” – Jack
Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series All-Analog 180g Vinyl LP Mastered by Kevin Gray Directly from the Original Master Tapes and Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
The Classic Vinyl Reissue Series is the continuation of Blue Note’s acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series, which was created in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records in 2019. The series presents affordable, high-quality reissues in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio and manufactured on 180g vinyl at Optimal Media in Germany. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes.
Blue Note Records has recorded the legends of Jazz and has traced the entire evolution of the music from the early days of Boogie Woogie, Hot Jazz and Swing, through the innovations of Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and 70s Fusion, and into the vibrant sounds of Jazz’s many modern-day incarnations. The Classic Vinyl Series is curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman and is broad in its scope. The series reissues the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, but also goes deeper, exploring the many different eras and styles of the legendary label’s eight-decade history with the aim of telling their story and fully representing the Blue Note motto: The Finest In Jazz Since 1939.
A saxophonist of striking originality, Sam Rivers was born in Oklahoma and exposed to music from an early age by his pianist mother and gospel singer father. Rivers moved to Boston to study at the Boston Conservatory and eventually met, and began performing with, the drummer Tony Williams who was barely a teenager at the time. Williams would open several doors for Rivers including recommending him for what would be a short stint in the Miles Davis Quintet, but also bringing Rivers to the attention of Blue Note’s Alfred Lion. Williams featured Rivers on his Blue Note debut Life Time in 1964, which led to Rivers’ appearance on organist Larry Young’s album Into Somethin’ before the saxophonist was offered his own recording deal with Blue Note.
A month later Rivers was in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio recording his astonishing debut album Fuchsia Swing Song with an extraordinary quartet featuring Williams, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Jaki Byard. Although a strong avant-garde undercurrent flowed through his music, Rivers kept a foot planted firmly in post-bop and the blues on this impressive set of his originals including the fleet-footed title track, the hard-charging “Downstairs Blues Upstairs,” and the stunning ballad “Beatrice” which remains Rivers’ most beloved composition.
Sam Rivers, tenor saxophone
Jaki Byard, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Anthony Williams, drums
• Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series
• All analog 180g vinyl LP
• Mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes
• Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
• Standard packaging