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Tanga / Con Alma

Sam Rivers

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September 25, 1923 - December 26, 2011


Sam Rivers performs two numbers with Dizzy Gillespie on German TV in 1987.

Tanga was written by Mario Bauza. (He's the cat who brought Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo together).

"Tanga" Personnel:

Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet
Sam Rivers, tenor sax
Hank Jones, piano
Ed Cherry, guitar
John Lee, bass
Ignacio Berroa, drums

"Con Alma":
(Replace with)

Gomez, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums

Sam Rivers, born in El Reno, Oklahoma during the Fall of 1923, first began playing saxophone professionally in the 1940s while station in California with the U.S. Navy.

He backed singer Jimmy Witherspoon at the time before moving to Massachusetts in 1947 where he studied at the Boston Conservatory.

In 1959 Rivers began performing with young drummer Tony Williams and went on to work briefly as a member of Miles Davis Quintet in 1964 on the percussionist's recommendation.

With a bebop based approach becoming more adept at free jazz and avant-garde Rivers soon left Davis and singed a contract with Blue Note producing four albums.

In the 1970s Sam was an active participant in the New York City's loft jazz scene opening "Studio Rivbea" among the most famous establishments of its kind with his wife Bea.

Also a talented composer after relocating to Florida with his wife in the early '90s, Rivers performed his original works with his "RivBea Orchestra".

He toured France and recorded a number of side projects between 1996 and 1998 including collaborating with pianist Tony Hymas, and with the aid of Steve Coleman the "RivBea All-Star Orchestra" released two Grammy Nominated LPs.

On December 26, 2011 Sam Rivers passed away from pneumonia in Orlando, Florida.

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