Sam Rivers (For Grandma)

This week I’d like to share some music my grandmother liked.  She died suddenly last week, at age 86, when her health rapidly declined after a minor injury got infected.  My mother was with her in her last few days and the rest of the family was able to say goodbye to her, so seeing them at the funeral this weekend was less a somber occasion than a happy reunion.

I never knew my grandmother to enjoy jazz (aside from Glenn Miller), but once when she heard me playing Sam Rivers’ classic album Fuchsia Swing Song she remarked how good it was.  I take this as more proof that Sam was a first rate genius.  Here are a couple of my favorites of his.

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I love the chord changes for “Cyclic Episode”.  In 16 short bars it passes through 11 of the 12 minor-7 chords.

Fuchsia Swing Song

Speaking of chord progressions, you may notice this one is based on “Night and Day” without the bridge.

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