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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Jazz - Released April 14, 2009 | Rhino Atlantic

When African Cookbook was recorded in 1964, pianist Randy Weston had no luck interesting any label to release the music, so he came out with it independently on his tiny Bakton company. In 1972, Atlantic released the performances. It is surprising that no company in the mid-'60s signed Weston, because "Willie's Tune," from this set, had the potential to catch on, and "Berkshire Blues" is somewhat well-known and the mixture of accessible bop with African rhythms overall is appealing. Trumpeter Ray Copeland was responsible for the arrangements while Weston contributed all but one of the songs. Copeland and the great tenor Booker Ervin have their share of solo space, bassist Vishnu Wood and drummer Lenny McBrowne are fine in support, and on three numbers the percussion of Big Black and Sir Harold Murray are added; Big Black also sings on "Congolese Children." An excellent outing. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Over the course of his career, Randy Weston has occasionally revisited the solo piano context. Here, opening with Nat "King" Cole's "In the Cool of the Evening," Weston thoughtfully mixes his own compositions with telling covers (Billy Strayhorn, Dizzy Gillespie, and Fats Waller). Alone at a piano, it's evident how expansive and orchestrally-oriented Weston's musical thinking is; he utilizes beautiful density and open atmospherics with equal aplomb, and all with gorgeous melodicism. The album was digitally recorded live to 2-track in the ballroom of the La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco, a perfect setting for Weston, preserving both the cool and broad sound of the large room and the warmth of his piano playing. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Pianist Randy Weston and trombonist/arranger Melba Liston have collaborated successfully for many years. This pairing was on a series of blues numbers, with Weston doubling as session producer and pianist while giving Liston almost total arranging control, except for three numbers. The results were an intriguing twist on standard 12-bar blues, as Weston's muscular piano lead the way through rigorous performances of Count Basie's "Volcano" and his own "Blues For Strayhorn," "Sad Beauty Blues" and "In Memory Of." Liston's arrangements required disciplined solos, and Weston's steady hand generated impressive cohesion and interaction during the unison segments. A superb example of the African/African-American musical continuum. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 9, 2011 | Masterworks Jazz

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Jazz - Released March 21, 2006 | Random Chance, Inc.

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Jazz - Released November 22, 2007 | Comet

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

On the second of three quartet recordings (with bassist Jamil Nasser, drummer Idris Muhammad and percussionist Eric Asante) recorded on three consecutive days, pianist Randy Weston plays six Duke Ellington compositions. Other than "Caravan" and "C Jam Blues," the tunes are rarely performed ("Limbo Jazz" and "Chromatic Love Affair" are far from standards), allowing Weston to construct inventive improvisations that do not borrow from the original recordings; even "Caravan" sounds fresh. All three of these releases (the others are a set of originals and a program of Thelonious Monk tunes) are easily recommended to Randy Weston's fans. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 3, 2013 | Fresh Sound Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

The first of three albums recorded in a three day period, this CD features pianist Randy Weston in a quartet with bassist Jamil Nasser, drummer Idris Muhammad and percussionist Eric Asante, interpreting seven of Thelonious Monk's songs. Since Monk was a major (but not dominant) influence on his style, Weston fully understands Thelonious' music without feeling compelled to closely copy his musical role model. Highlights include fresh versions of "Well You Needn't," "Misterioso" and a 13 1/2 minute rendition of "Functional." © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 26, 1959 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Jazz - Released February 15, 2013 | Stardust Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Randy Weston was still at the peak of his powers, despite nearing his 70th birthday, for this set recorded with a septet in 1995. Weston's writing and playing have long drawn from a combination of American jazz and African traditions. This set celebrates that rich and entwined heritage, and Weston fearlessly juxtaposes dissonant note clusters with sweetly inviting melodies. "Tangier Bay," is, for example, relentlessly propulsive with undulating counter-rhythms. His three front-line soloists are distinct and inventive: tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, alto saxophonist Talib Kibwe, and trombonist Benny Powell. This album, along with EARTH BIRTH and the PORTRAITS series, made the '90s an expansive and productive decade for Weston. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

The team of Randy Weston, composer/pianist, and Melba Liston, arranger, returns triumphantly to the territory carved out by The Spirits of Our Ancestors -- only not at quite such length (just one CD) and with a new thrust, exploring ancient connections between African and Chinese cultures. The CD opens with a mighty building crash of percussion and continues in a kind of freeform depiction of creation, with Pharaoh Sanders -- in thrilling form throughout much of the album -- honking and evoking ancient spirits. A tragic grandeur sets in, the Chinese elements are evoked, and then midway through the record, the concept loses its train of thought; the rest of the album becomes a series of disconnected pieces (the theme of "Niger Mambo" threatens to break into "Puttin' On the Ritz" at any moment). The Chinese aspects of the music, signaled by the use of Min Xiao Fen's pipa (a Chinese lute) on a couple of tracks, are heavily outweighed by the thundering African percussion, so the ramifications of such a fusion aren't explored too thoroughly. However, Weston's impressions are almost always compelling anyway, with lots of mesmerizing vamps and passages that sometimes evoke John Coltrane's feelers into African music on Kulu Se Mama. Liston only has three wind voices to work with this time -- Sanders, Benny Powell on trombone and Talib Kibawe on reeds -- and she makes subtle use of them. This is, in any case, a powerful, even visionary piece of work for any musician, let alone one in his early 70s. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 11, 2010 | Motema

Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Pianist Randy Weston and arranger Melba Liston had a musical reunion on this special double-CD, their first joint project since 1973's Tanjah. Liston's charts for the pianist's ten originals perfectly fit Weston's adventurous style and the twelve-piece group (which includes three percussionists) is filled with highly individual voices including the tenors of Billy Harper and Dewey Redman. With trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and tenor-saxophonist Pharoah Sanders making guest appearances and Randy Weston heard at the peak of his powers, this is a highly recommended set. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 16, 2014 | Tritone

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Jazz - Released February 15, 2015 | AVID Entertainment

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Jazz - Released December 21, 2004 | Mutable Music

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Jazz - Released December 28, 1987 | Black Saint

This set of duets by David Murray (doubling on tenor and bass clarinet) and pianist Randy Weston is a bit of a surprise. Rather than performing standards or some of Weston's "hits," the duo stretches out on three obscurities by the two musicians (only Weston's "Blue Moses" is slightly known) and Butch Morris' "Clever Beggar." Weston provides a solid harmonic and rhythmic foundation for Murray's thick-toned but sometimes screeching flights, and the combination works pretty well. © Scott Yanow /TiVo