Inspiration

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Prior to Inspiration, Sam Rivers hadn't recorded for a major label in nearly 20 years, and he hadn't cut a studio session in two decades. That doesn't mean he was inactive; he was teaching, playing, and giving concerts but never recording. Aware that many of Rivers' big-band compositions -- not only his recent material, but some earlier works as well -- had never been given the proper treatment, saxophonist Steve Coleman helped arrange a recording contract with BMG, with the end result being the astonishing Inspiration album. The compositions on Inspiration are as old as 1968's "Beatrice" and as new as 1995's "Solace" incidentally, both of those pieces are ...
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1999-07-13 Audio CD Very Good Very good, plays perfectly. Includes all artwork.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Prior to Inspiration, Sam Rivers hadn't recorded for a major label in nearly 20 years, and he hadn't cut a studio session in two decades. That doesn't mean he was inactive; he was teaching, playing, and giving concerts but never recording. Aware that many of Rivers' big-band compositions -- not only his recent material, but some earlier works as well -- had never been given the proper treatment, saxophonist Steve Coleman helped arrange a recording contract with BMG, with the end result being the astonishing Inspiration album. The compositions on Inspiration are as old as 1968's "Beatrice" and as new as 1995's "Solace" incidentally, both of those pieces are tributes to his wife Beatrice, who also provides half of the name of the featured big band, the Rivbea All-Star Orchestra. Remarkably, all of the compositions not only sound fresh, they sound visionary -- still ahead of their time. It's not only because the stellar musicians give vibrant, unpredictable performances, although that undeniably helps; Rivers' writing is the real key. His writing for big band is utterly original, blending big-band, bop, and avant-garde traditions together in unique, surprising ways. The dissonance never sounds irritating -- it sounds melodic -- and the complex themes are strangely inviting. Similarly, Rivers' playing is robust, swinging between intense bursts of sound and beautiful lyricism, and sometimes combining it all at once. His 16 colleagues -- including such luminaries as Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Chico Freeman, and Ray Anderson -- follow suit, delivering wonderfully shaded, invigorating performances. Inspiration truly is a revelation, proving not only that Rivers retains all his creative power at the age of 75, but that avant-garde jazz can be as inviting as any other style without sacrificing any of its depth or daring.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/1999
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 743216471720
  • Catalog Number: 64717

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Vines (13:36)
  2. 2 Nebula (11:18)
  3. 3 Beatrice (10:36)
  4. 4 Inspiration (9:41)
  5. 5 Solace (11:01)
  6. 6 Whirlwind (5:43)
  7. 7 Rejuvenation (8:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sam Rivers Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Ray Anderson Trombone
Steve Coleman Alto Saxophone
Chico Freeman Tenor Saxophone
Greg Osby Alto Saxophone
Bob Stewart Tuba
Gary Thomas Tenor Saxophone
Baikida Carroll Trumpet
Ralph Alessi Trumpet
Art Baron Trombone
Joseph Bowie Trombone
Anthony Cole Drums
Doug Mathews Bass
James Zollar Trumpet
Ravi Best Trumpet
Joe Daley Baritone Saxophone
Technical Credits
Steve Coleman Producer
Sam Rivers Producer
Joseph Marciano Engineer
Sophia Wong Producer
Daniel Baumgarten Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Inspiration is a revelation!!

    It is a shame that it has been taken so long for these compositions to be recorded on a major label. These are truly some of the most amazing big band compositions I have ever heard. Sam Rivers make dissonance sound beautiful! If there was ever such a thing as accessible avant-garde this is it. The players are also all of the highest quality. Very highly recommended. Do not let the avant-garde label scare you away. You will be richly rewarded.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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