Sam Rivers' Trio and Big Band perform at the 2001 Stanford Jazz Festival
Dinkelspiel Auditorium in the Braun Music Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto
Saturday, Aug. 11
Tickets are $25
A world-class improviser on tenor and soprano saxes, flute, and piano, the 70-year-old Rivers has the energy and imagination of a player half his age. He's also a formidable composer, with over 400 works spanning a startling range of stylistic invention, from updates on familiar jazz forms to complex, forward-pushing atonal structures.
His latest projects include a wildly versatile trio, which jammed Bruno's for a whirlwind three-night stint this past spring, and a Grammy-nominated big band. The trio -- featuring thirtysomething players Doug Matthews on upright bass, electric bass, and clarinet and Anthony Cole on drums, tenor sax, and piano -- moves organically through a mind-boggling variety of instrumental configurations, tight compositions, and free-form astral jams. The big band, which stems from Rivers' late-'70s New York "Loft Scene" associations with instrumentalists like Steve Coleman and Greg Osby, packs the kaleidoscopic punch of the Duke Ellington Orchestra in its prime, with a panoramic vision that's distinctly Sam Rivers.