On August 10th, 2007, we had the passing of the sidemen of sidemen, Mario Rivera. He was 68 and died of bone cancer.
Rivera was a talented artist, playing tenor, alto, baritone, and soprano saxophone, as well as the flute and a host of other instruments including the timbales, vibraphone & jazz scatting.
Mario performed many years with Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, and performed legendary solos for Eddie Palmieri.
Of Dominican descent, known as El Comandante, I remember Mario once listening to a Walkman telling Tito, “hey you gotta listen to this hot tune!”