Geri Allen, a widely influential jazz pianist, composer and educator, passed away on Tuesday in Philadelphia from cancer at the age of 60.

Born and raised in Detroit, Allen was generally regarded as one of jazz’s finest pianists and most important woman musicians, recorded with leaders including Ornette Coleman, Oliver Lake, Steve Coleman, Charles Lloyd and Charlie Haden, in addition to releasing many essential sessions under her own name.

Allen, widely considered one of the top jazz pianists of her generation, was an associate professor of Music and the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary musical influences were mentors Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, and Betty Carter, as well as pianists Herbie Hancock, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Alice Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Bud Powell, and mentor Dr. Billy Taylor.