August 30, 2013

Jazz Week, day 1: Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song

I thought I should do this series of reviews because, first of all, I haven't reviewed anything in a while now and I feel like I'm gonna get fired anytime soon, but also because I've recently started exploring my...I dunno, sensitive side, and I did it through jazz. Beautiful, soothing, classic jazz that is going to put you into a most dazzling yet delightful trance. So, as I said, every day until next Thursday I'm going to post a review of a jazz record you may or may not have heard, but that I am very fond of. So, today we're checking out...

 Fuchsia Swing Song, Sam's first album as a leader, and a perfect representation of beautifully crafted free jazz. Sam Rivers was a highly influential jazz musician who managed to achieve substantial popularity in the 60's, when free jazz became a thing, gaining a larger fan base.

The record kicks off with the eponymous track, which lets you simmer down while a capricious, slow-paced tenor sax portion enraptures you - but not for long. Shortly after, the cymbals come in, giving Sam the opportunity to show us his improvisation prowess, a carefully mastered blend of speed, tenacity, and pure fervor.

The second track, Downstairs Blues Upstairs does exactly what the title suggests, welcoming you to a world of somewhat contrasted sounds. From the breathy and dynamic saxophone to the more melodic piano solo, which enchants you until Sam's saxophone playfully comes back with lively patterns and arrangements, in a delicious Coltranesque manner.

Another stand-out track is Beatrice, a slow-paced song that proves the diversity and variation of this album; compared to the rest of the songs on this record, Beatrice is a mellow, yet seducing song. It begins with a gentle piano melody which anticipates the slow, heavy saxophone chant that follows, totally engulfing you in the savory atmosphere.

I really don't want to spoil this one for you, because free jazz is an adventure by its very nature, and you must explore it on your own. I'll just leave this beautiful piece here.

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