I was very sad to hear that legendary jazz great Sam Rivers passed away yesterday (12/26/2011). Rivers was easily one of the most influential musicians for both the avant-garde and free jazz movements. Rivers, who played a number of musical instruments including soprano and tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, and piano, released a number of groundbreaking releases as a leader including Contours (1965), Fuchsia Swing Song (1965), Streams (1973), Crystals (1974), Waves (1979), as well as many others. He also helped produce the 1977 Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions which were recorded in RIvers loft apartment in New York. Not only did Rivers make his mark as a leader, but also as sideman playing alongside legendary musicians like Tony Williams (1964's LifeTime), Larry Young (1964's In Somethin'), Bobby Hutcherson (1965's Dialogue), Cecil Taylor (1971's Nuits De La Fondation Maeght) and Dave Holland (1973's Conference of the Birds) among others. These are just a few of the many notable highlights during Rivers extraordinary life. I think it's safe to say that yesterday we unfortunately lost one of jazz music's most brilliant innovators and minds.