You’re as young as you feel; just ask eighty-year-old Sam Rivers- truly one of the few icons of contemporary jazz still performing like nobody’s business. The Multi-instrumentalist jazz pianist, tenor/soprano saxophonist and flutist came to play. Energetic, lively and witty as Rivers performed wonderfully at the Jazz Bakery with great support from the others in the trio, bassist and bass clarinetist Doug Mathews and drummer, tenor saxophonist and pianist Anthony Cole.
A six days engagement with two shows each evening, Rivers gave his audience just what they expected, a very exciting and artistic performance filled with creativity and spontaneity. As Cole began the set with a skillfully sole selection on piano, Rivers performed a fiery solo of his own on tenor saxophone as well; but, not before Mathews fulfilled subtly alone on bass.
Rivers, a great musician who has performed with such legends in the music world as Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and Mc Coy Tyner. In addition, Rivers put to work his skills as a music director for greats, such as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Wilson Pickett.
As the evening wore on and the jazz set continued Rivers’ trio forged on with Rivers performing on flute and soprano saxophone, as Cole seized the moment to shine with a high energy exhibition on drums and Mathews with an equally impressive spotlight on electric bass. However, for me the highlight of the evening came as Rivers performed a very touching piano solo. Also, when the trio engaged in an all wind instrumental both Rivers and Cole executed an artful display on tenor saxophone and Mathews on bass clarinet. The audience loved the well-rounded interfusions of rich rhythmic melodies, resonating from all that brass.