Tuesday, December 27, 2011

First steps......

"First Tracks"; 6x6; oil on board
I almost dread opening up Facebook and my email these days.

In the last week, I've lost two of my musical mentors, Bob Brookmeyer last week....and now today came the news that the great Sam Rivers passed last night.

Sam was a force in music like no other. Throughout his long life (he played like a wildman almost up until his final day), his music touched countless numbers of musicians in all genres, from rock to free jazz. For all too short of time, I was granted the privilege of being in Sam's nurturing presence as part of his RivBea Orchestra.

If Bob Brookmeyer opened up the door to new schools of harmonic thought, Sam blew those doors apart, picked them up and then shredded them to pieces with a frightening kind of knowledge that is referred to as genius, but more closely approaches inhuman.

Sam was the one who stood behind me and gently shoved as I took my first tentative steps into the world of the avant-garde, and then showed me the path.

I will be forever grateful for those fleeting moments of Sam's friendship.

Love to you and Bea, always Mr. R.....

painting count: 15

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