Tune in to an archival 1994 broadcast of jazz icon Sam Rivers playing live on WPRK this weekend


Sam Rivers playing live in Orlando - PHOTO BY JIM LEATHERMAN
  • Photo by Jim Leatherman
  • Sam Rivers playing live in Orlando
It still seems somewhat like a dream that free-jazz deity Sam Rivers spent the last two decades (1991-2011) of his life here in Orlando, musical powers and performance chops intact, a regular presence on local stages with a variety of ensembles including his Rivbea Orchestra.

If you need some concrete proof, or just want to hear the great man again, an audio time capsule from that period has just been unearthed, in the form of a live session Rivers played back in 1994 for Rollins College's student radio station WPRK.

WPRK produced a long-running series of live sets from performers – both touring and local – called WPRK Comes Alive, and Rivers descended into the basement to play a duo set with bassist Charlie Silva and a trio set with Silva and Anthony Cole back in Feb. 2, 1994.

We've been assured by Civic Minded 5 member and Rivers associate Matt Gorney (who found this on tape and digitized it) that the recording comes complete with "a mid-set interview, announcements, and a concert calendar all referencing events from 1994." Time is pretty fluid now anyway, so this should be perfect.

Tune in to WPRK 91.5-FM – or listen online – at 8 p.m. on Sunday to listen to this live session, starting right after Jazz in the Bible Belt if you're in the mood to aesthetically pregame..

And if you need more Rivers in your life – and why shouldn't you – NoBusiness Records is continuing their Sam Rivers Archives series of CD reissues with a third volume titled Ricochet. The CD features a Sam Rivers Trio set from 1978 in San Francisco with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul.

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