Archive Series Volume 5 - Undulation

Featuring: Sam Rivers

Musicians on the recording

Sam Rivers - tenor saxophone, flute, piano
Jerry Byrd - guitar
Rael-Wesley Grant - electric bass guitar
Steve Ellington - drums

Release date 15th July, 2021

Recording track list

1. Tenor saxophone section I
2. Tenor saxophone solo
3. Tenor saxophone section II 
4. Drum solo  
5. Piano solo  
6. Piano section I
7. Piano section II  
8. Guitar solo  
9. Flute section I
10. Flute solo  
11. Flute section II
12. Bass solo
13. Flute section III


NoBusiness Records NBCD 146
Release year - 2021

Credits and release info

  • Recorded May 17, 1981, Florence, Italy
  • Re-mastered by Arūnas 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


Reviews and articles


George Kanzler - New York City Jazz Record

This month is the 10th anniversary of the passing of Sam Rivers (Sep. 25th, 1923 - Dec. 26th, 2011), the multi-instrumentalist (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, piano) whose Studio RivBea in Manhattan’s NoHo district was the most famous venue in the Loft Jazz movement in the ‘70s. This concert recording from
Florence, Italy (May 17th, 1981) chronicles the “electric” band Rivers formed and toured with mostly outside the U.S. after the demise of Studio RivBea. Although influential in ‘60s avant garde jazz, especially on period Blue Note LPs, Rivers can more accurately be described as inside-outside, never a completely free player, often circling back to the forms of bebop: extended chord changes, elaborations of pop song melodies. So on this hour-plus performance, divided in CD production into nominal tracks, which are actually part of a continuous, multi-faceted continuum, Rivers veers from free blowing largely on the first two “tracks”, with his tenor, to a strong suggestion of tunes and chord changes, as on the third track: “Tenor saxophone section II”, his horn riding on funky toms (Steve Ellington), electric guitar (Jerry Byrd) and electric bass (Rael-Wesley Grant) rhythmic riffs. Ellington’s solo, mostly sticks on drumheads with some cymbal accents, follows the tenor sections, leading into three piano sections. Rivers, solo, waxes lyrical; joined by the band he is quick and pointillistic over skittering guitar. But a final piano section finds him soulful, more Ramsey Lewis than Cecil Taylor. Byrd’s solo, his tone and attack more straightahead jazz than rock or funk, leads to the final flute sections, the first over funk rhythms, flute high and bright. Rivers adds vocalizing and humming in a solo section, then returns after a solo from Grant to take it out over funky beats, interspersing his flute with some energetic scat-singing. 

Archive Series Volume 5 - Undulation -

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