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Randy Weston

After contributing six decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary. Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations musically continue to inform and inspire. "Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat," states jazz critic Stanley Crouch, "but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique". Randy Weston, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926, didn't have to travel far to hear the early jazz giants that were to influence him

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: Hi-Fly

Read "Hi-Fly" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In 2020, the superb Howard University Jazz Ensemble from the US capital marked its forty-fifth anniversary. Since its inception in 1975, the ensemble has had only one director, Fred Irby III, its founder and guiding force for lo these many years. One year after organizing the group, Irby assembled its members for a visit to a ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini

Read "The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In 1919, the Pasadena Evening Post said: “the friends of Mr. Whiteman have with much enthusiasm bestowed the title of “King of Jazz" upon him." While Paul Whiteman was heavily criticized for wearing the crown, it was not one that was self-attributed or with which he felt completely comfortable. But Whiteman was a brilliant marketer and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Musillami and Peter Madsen: Pictures

Read "Pictures" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami and pianist Peter Madsen have long traveled in the same circles, with Musillami's Playscape label showcasing both musicians in a number of their independently derived projects. But they don't often get to work side-by-side. Aside from Musillami's sextet record, Dachau (Playscape, 2006), the two have only appeared together previously on duo disc, Part ...

CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums With No Added Sugar (Almost)

Read "CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums  With No Added Sugar (Almost)" reviewed by Chris May

Few jazz producers divide opinion as much as Creed Taylor. He is a hero to many and a villain to as many more. His fans love him for his high production values. His detractors accuse him of dumbing jazz down with excessively sweetened orchestrations and other sales-oriented compromises. Nowhere is the dispute more heated than over ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

New albums from Art Hirahara, Krzysia Górniak and Kate Amrine

Read "New albums from Art Hirahara, Krzysia Górniak and Kate Amrine" reviewed by Bob Osborne

There are excellent newly released albums on this week's show from guitarist Krzysia Górniak and trumpeter Kate Amrine. I am also featuring the fantastic new release from pianist Art Hirahara and music from other projects by the artists involved with that album. In between some archive cuts with classic jazz from across the years. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

World Jazz Quintet: Live At QPAC Theatre

Read "Live At QPAC Theatre" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although all the members of the World Jazz Quintet are New York-based, the group's name does evoke the global palette of its music. Led by pianist Francis Hon—who, on his trio outing Before Dawn (2018), worked within pop and classical idioms in addition to conventional jazz—the World Jazz Quintet incorporates traditional Asian folk musics and a ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Highlights of Jazz in the Late 1990s (1995 - 1999)

Read "Highlights of Jazz in the Late 1990s (1995 - 1999)" reviewed by Russell Perry

This is the 96th of 100 programs in the Jazz at 100 series. As we present more recent music, we face the historian's dilemma, what performances will have lasting value? What players will be remembered for their contributions to advancing the music? What trends will turn into dominant themes? We are following the lead of critic ...


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