Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Randy Weston Trio & Quintet (The Modern Art of Jazz)

Jazz and world-music pianist/composer Randy Weston boasts a range of musical influences. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he later lived in Africa for many years, both playing and studying African music. The result of his lifelong work and his far-reaching adventures is a beautiful and balanced hybrid of classic American jazz and ancient African rhythms and tonalities.
Weston grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where his father, the owner of a soul food diner, emphasized to his son, "You are an African born in America." The elder Weston laid down a strict rule for Randy : Practice the piano at home each day or feel the edge of a ruler on your knuckles. When the now six-foot-eight Weston was in his early teens he was already six-feet-two-inches tall and eager to play basketball, but his father ensured that he did not stray too far from his piano. Passing along his vast knowledge of calypso, jazz, and blues on to his son, Weston’s father frequently took him to see bandleader Duke Ellington at the Sonia Ballroom or Brooklyn Palace, as well as to Harlem to hear calypso. In addition, Weston’s mother, who was from Virginia, exposed her young son to spirituals.
While Weston was a youngster in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s, musicians Miles Davis, Max Roach, and George Russell all lived in the borough at one time or another, and each had stopped into the elder Weston’s luncheonette for soul food. Weston felt steeped in the African American music community as a teenager; he especially made a point of seeing Coleman Hawkins perform whenever possible, and through Hawkins, was able to meet pianist Thelonious Monk. Weston spent many hours at home listening to Monk’s recordings.
At the age of 14, Weston was taught by drummer Al Harewood how to play a tune on the piano by ear ; Weston was then able to imitate current releases by Ellington, Hawkins, and Count Basie. Weston used to go to the Atlantic Avenue section of Brooklyn to hear Arabic musicians play the oud, a type of lute. He told Down Beat’s Fred Bouchard, "We were searching for new sounds. We’d get into quarter and eighth tones. But here was Monk doing it, with spirit power, with magic !… For me it was pure African piano." Besides Monk, Basie, Hawkins, and Ellington, jazz greats Nat King Cole and Art Tatum were also early influences for Weston.
Voted "new star pianist" in a 1955 Down Beat critics’ poll, Weston spent most of the 1950s playing in clubs around New York City with Cecil Payne and Kenny Dorham. He also toured colleges with historian Marshall Stearns, who lectured while Weston and a few other musicians performed African, calypso, Dixieland, and bebop music. Weston wrote a string of popular songs, including "Saucer Eyes," "Pam’s Waltz," "Little Niles," and his best-known tune, "Hi-Fly," which is about being six-foot-eight and looking at the ground. Among the 11 albums he released during the fifties were Cole Porter in a Modern Mood (1954), Randy Weston Trio (1955), Piano a La Mode (1957), and Little Niles (1958).

Source : http://www.answers.com/topic/randy-weston-1

Randy Weston
The Modern Art of Jazz


1 Loose Wig (Weston) 3:01
2 Run Joe (Jordan, Merrick, Willoughby) 3:43
3 A Theme for Teddy (Weston) 5:41
4 In a Little Spanish Town (Lewis, Wayne, Young) 3:01
5 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh) 5:18
6 J.K. Blues (Weston) 4:17
7 Well, You Needn't (Monk) 5:01
8 How High the Moon (Hamilton, Lewis) 4:49
9 Stormy Weather* (Arlen, Koehler) 5:08

* bonus track

[# 2, 4, 6 & 7] Randy Weston Quintet
Randy Weston - p
Ray Copeland - tp
Cecil Payne - as & bs
Ahmed Abdul-Malik - b
Wilbert Hogan - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 21, 1956
[# 1, 3, 5, 8 & 9] Randy Weston Trio
Randy Weston - p
Ahmed Abdul-Malik - b
Willie Jones - dr
Recorded in New York City ; November 22, 1956


Tony said...


just passing by and thought I'd stop for a while! Brilliant music here and beautiful to find,

many thanks,


Eric said...

This was one of the first jazz albums I ever owned and after nearly half a century it would be nice to hear the album without scratches. Thank you for this great music and all the other great albums that you are sharing.

Baron said...

Thanks Mel ... Baron

Philo said...

This is quite nice. Thanks.

headman said...

Been looking fore this for some time so great to find it here.

Many thanks for sharing it, melanchthon!

Melanchthon said...


Rodney said...

Many thanks, mel.

danair said...

Thanks very much Mel was missing this one.

AmyBRAINS said...

Fantastic album.
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

steve said...

Very nice Mel . . . old Weston is always a good listen! Thanks.

daniel genovese said...

Thank you

Alan said...

Lots of great music.


Rico Palacio said...

SWEET! Thank u

Prof. Yaffle said...

Mel, thank you.

Uri said...

It's always a delight to find a Randy Weston album that I'm not familiar with.
Many thanks.

Luis said...

Thanks a lot, Mel

Otis Foster said...

Thnx melanchthon - fantastic front line, with Payne and Copeland

adakun said...

Muchas gracias Mel.

rubberduck said...

really nice ! Many thanks, Mel

jazzcat1228 said...

Nice share, Mel. I don't think I've ever heard this one before. Thank you for your efforts.