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Sam Rivers dies at 88; pioneering jazz saxophonist, composer
Sam Rivers dies at 88; pioneering jazz saxophonist, composer

Sam Rivers, a saxophonist and composer who helped define the avant-garde jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s, died of pneumonia Monday in Orlando, Fla. He was 88. Rivers, whose legacy is defined by both his pioneering spirit in the post-bop jazz scene and a style that married unfettered creativity with a strong foundation of technical ability on a range of instruments, had lived in Orlando since the early 1990s. The son of church-choir musicians who toured with a gospel group, Rivers was born in 1923 in El Reno, Okla., and reared in Chicago and Little Rock, Ark. He started piano lessons as a child and later played trombone before settling on the tenor saxophone. Though tenor sax was his...

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