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Fighting Words

Former Utne Editor in Chief David Schimke on conflict, compassion, partisanship, and peace

Remembering Sam Rivers

 by David Schimke

Tags: Sam Rivers, Jason Moran, Jazz, avante-garde, Walker Art Center, Blue Note, Jazziz, Nasheet Waits, Mike Dvorak, A Blog Supreme, David Schimke,


Upon hearing the sad news that the visionary jazz saxophonist and flutist Sam Rivers died just after Christmas at the age of 88, I started scrounging for the notes I’d taken at a special guest appearance he made with pianist Jason Moran on October 4, 2001. It took a while to sift through the scribbling, but the exercise led me to a short piece I wrote about the experience. That is took place at Walker Art Center, a modern art museum in Minneapolis, was particularly fitting, since the composer and bandleader will forever be remembered for his abstract expressions. Here are a few graphs from the review, which originally ran in Jazziz magazine: 

Shout outs to photographer Mike Dvorak, who covered the show with me that night, and NPR’s A Blog Supreme, which recently posted a link to an exhaustive Rivers discography.

Image by Tom Marcello , licensed under Creative Commons