I first heard saxophonist Sam Rivers play when I was a teenager, courtesy of the Miles Davis album "Miles in Tokyo." My thought at the time? "Wow, Wayne Shorter sure is playing 'outside the box' on this stuff!" My confusion over who I was listening to is understandable. Rivers' tenure with the Davis Quintet was so short that this 1964 live recording represents the only recorded evidence of that brief period between the tenures of John Coltrane and Shorter in the group.
Ultimately, Davis thought Rivers was too avant-garde of a player for his taste, but I still love the way the man tore the harmonic heart of the chest of the quintet's chest and held it aloft, during blistering "Miles in Tokyo" takes on "So What" and "Walkin'," among others. Post-Miles, Rivers formed the Rivbea Tuba Trio, for which he employed the considerable talents of tuba player Joseph Daley. Daley never forgot his time with Rivers, and his Joseph Daley Tuba Trio exists to pay tribute to that period and to the influence of Rivers in general.
Joseph Daley's Tuba Trio: 8 p.m. March 16 in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.) $15/$12, Hallwalls.org.