One of the unsung greats of the 1960s Sam Rivers has remained a vital force ever since. At the time that he recorded Fuchsia Swing Song, he was a master at playing both inside and outside at the same time, blurring the lines between hard bop and the avant-garde. Rivers, who early on played piano, violin and trombone before settling on the tenor, picked up experience playing with Herb Pomeroy's orchestra in the 1950s. In the early 1960s he gradually became involved with the freer forms of jazz, performing with Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, Paul Bley and Cecil Taylor. Rivers spent a month as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet in 1964 and later that year recorded Fuchsia Swing Song, a brilliant debut. With Jaki Byard, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, Rivers stretches hard bop and blues to the breaking point. He shows tenderness as he introduces his most famous original, "Beatrice," and tears into such numbers as "Downstairs Blues Upstairs" and "Ellipsis." Throughout this timeless album, Sam Rivers shows that he was a true giant, one who possessed a very individual style and the ability to create innovative music with every note.