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Weston Culture

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Inspired by Randy Weston's passing, Mike and Pat explore four pivotal albums from the pianist/composer's long career, taking in works from 1960 to 2003. Weston's collaboration with trombonist/arranger Melba Liston is discussed in some depth, as her contributions were crucial to some of his greatest recordings. Pat laments not including Weston's album Highlife from 1963, which he says is his favorite of Weston's collaborations with Liston, while Mike explains the religious origins of “Blue Moses." Playlist Discussion of Randy Weston's ...

RADIO

Randy Weston Tribute & New Releases

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Another master has left us. Randy Weston passed away on Sept. 1st at the venerable age of 92. This week we celebrate the music of an artist that consciously built a bridge between jazz and African musical traditions and, in doing so, strongly contributed to the awareness of the African roots of jazz music. This episode will then feature some interesting new releases by Phronesis, Stefon Harris, Stephane Spira, Fred Hersch and others. Happy listening! ...

INTERVIEWS

Randy Weston: The Spirit of Our Ancestors

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To commemorate the Randy Weston, we've republished this 1999 interview that traces his life and career, from his birth in Brooklyn to the years spent in Africa, from his admiration for Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington to his collaboration with Melba Liston. Every year, Harvard's Department of Music devotes part of its academic year to the study of great jazz masters. Thanks to this program, musicians such as Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Lester Bowie, Steve Lacy, Illinois ...

RADIO
INTERVIEWS

Randy Weston: Music of The Earth

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Pianist Randy Weston has long been known to be a student of his African heritage and proud of it. Born in Brooklyn, he has lived in Africa, been involved with musicians there--he has been involved with the entirety of its culture. An expert? “I've lived there for years, man, and I know nothing," he says with a bold, generous laugh that speckles many of his comments. “I'm no expert on anything because you're dealing with the magic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Randy Weston: Blue Moses

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Brooklyn-born, six-foot-seven octogenarian pianist/composer Randy Weston has literally been a larger-than-life jazz force for six decades: his percussive pianism was forged from a distinguished keyboard continuum, ranging from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to John Lewis; his “Little Niles" and “Hi-Fly" are well-worn jazz standards; and the pianist may well be the greatest exponent of the African roots of America's classical music. Weston lived in Morocco in the 1960s and '70s, opened a jazz club there, and was virtually a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Randy Weston: Blue Moses

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Randy WestonBlue MosesCTI Masterworks2011 (1972) Sony's program of reissues from CTI--the label set up by producer Creed Taylor in the late 1960s, post Impulse!, which he also founded, and post Verve, where he had moved on leaving Impulse!--continues with one of the brightest jewels in the CTI vaults. Like the sixteen discs which Sony have already reissued, pianist and composer Randy Weston's Blue Moses has not previously been ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet:The Storyteller

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Randy Weston African Rhythms SextetThe StorytellerMotema Records2010 It's almost fifty years since pianist/composer Randy Weston first played in Africa and he has returned many times since--three times alone this year, 2010--absorbing the endless rhythms and colors of the mother continent. Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries Weston has delved into the African roots of jazz, extolling the beauty and richness of African culture and making the connection between past and present. ...

INTERVIEWS

Randy Weston: African Stories, African Rhythms

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In over 60 years as a leader, pianist Randy Weston has achieved an incredible amount. He has recorded nearly 50 albums and has been hailed in the process as the natural heir to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Three times he has been voted Downbeat's composer of the year, and his compositions have been recorded by the likes of Ahmad Jamal, Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Abbey Lincoln, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jimmy Heath amongst others. In 2001, his significance ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Autobiography of Randy Weston: African Rhythms

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The Autobiography of Randy Weston: African RhythmsRandy Weston / Willard JenkinsHardcover; 344 pagesISBN: 978-0-8223-4784-2Duke University Press2010 It's hard to think of another jazz musician who has promoted the African roots of jazz with quite the missionary zeal of pianist Randy Weston. Weston's African consciousness was awakened by his father, who taught his son that he was an African in Brooklyn. As this autobiography demonstrates, Weston's musical journey--indeed ...