It was with great sadness that we heard that the writer Richard Havers had passed away on New Year's Eve. Richard was a prolific writer and commentator on music, and a seemingly endless source of fascinating information and stories.  He produced landmark books about the Rolling Stones, Tony Visconti and Frank Sinatra, amongst many more, but it was his encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz - and the crucial place of jazz in the bigger picture of contemporary culture - that carries special resonance.  As well as the endless enthusiasm that marked his role as jazz consultant to Universal Records, he wrote definitive accounts of the histories of Verve  and Blue Note Records - both meticulously researched and illustrated.  Richard became a good friend of Serious and the EFG London Jazz Festival in recent years, contributing to panel sessions and supporting the Festival especially through his online activity.  He was also great company - an evening spent with Richard inevitably revealed fresh and often hilarious insights into the patina of the music we all love.  And he was an occasional member of the Serious team for the Ronnie Scott's jazz quiz....  A massive loss to the music community, and to jazz.