Randy Weston African Rhythms
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recorded  21 September 1975  
Studio Palm, Paris  France
LP   1975   Owl 01
LP   1975   Inner City   1013
LP   1975   Enja           2086  (except 4, 6)

CD   2001   Universal    014732-2

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Randy Weston piano

Jean-Jacque Pussiau producer

  1   Little Niles  (Weston)
  2   Blues to Senegal  (Weston)
  3   African Nite
  4   Samba Bassa
  5   Jejouka
  6   Portrait of Myriam Makeba
  7   Con Alma
(Dizzy Gillespie)
  8   C. W. Blues
  9   Yubadee

Randy Weston African Nite

Born in Brooklyn, Randy Weston started playing the piano very young. He studied seriously at the Parkway Music Institute and frequented the 52nd Street clubs.

There he met Thelonious Monk with whom he became friends.
He recorded for the first time in 1954 with Sam Gil, the bassist.
In 1961 he went to Africa under the auspices of the American Society of African Culture.
He returned there in 1967 for a long tour of 17 countries, with his sextet, he presented a history of jazz, broken in over the course of several years In American universities.
He stayed in Africa and in 1970 opened a club in Tangiers.
In 1972 Randy organized the first jazz festival of Tangiers, with the participation of 75 musicians. Then he went back to the states for performing some concerts, and make some recordings.

In July 1974 we find him In Montreux. then Antibes. where he gave his first solo piano concert. This was the beginning of a European career as a piano soloist. Each of his concerts was a success. His impact on the public was great because of the depth of his personality.

All of the sources of Randy Weston's style are contained in his playing. The familiarity of Duke Ellington, the angularity of Monk. blend together In his music. closely tied to African and Afro-Caribbean rhythm and the deep bases of the blues.

For Randy Weston, Africa was the constant concern of his paternal education. Thus what could be more natural than to want to see and hear the heartbeat of this continent !

So for six years Randy Weston lived in Morocco where he took in all the sounds, all the rhythms and his music rings superbly from all the depths of the blues to al the subtle colors of African folklore, source of all rhythms, be they Brazilian or Caribbean.

And this record reproduces them so well that it incites us to dance and makes us discover how great is the talent of Randy Weston, alone with his piano.

But without the exceptional sensitivity of this musician nothing would come of it all, for as able as he might be without a powerful feeling deep inside of him he could not reproduce by his talent alone all the beauty and the emotion which call to the heart.


Randy Weston was better known until now as a composer and a conductor. Among his most famous compositions Tanjah. Blue Moses. Hi-Fly. Little Niles, African Cookbook, Marrakech Blues, Uhuru African Suite. Berkshire Blues. Portrait of Vivian, Willie's Tune. Pam's Waltz..

1. Little Niles is composed by Randy Weston for his son in 1962 and since has become a classic. Randy's son is now called Azzedin, He is a marvelous percussionist who has worked with Ahmed Jamal and Dizzy Gillespie.

2. Blues to Senegal is composed by Randy Weston during has first visit to Senegal in 1967 where he played with his sextet and where Randy and his son heard Wallof, the great percussionist at the Daniel Sorano theater in Dakar.

3. African Nite is composed by Randy in Tangiers in his club, The African Rhythms Club, on a calm and sweet night. with no one but himself and his marvelous Bechstein piano. And this melody came to him on this peaceful night.

4. Samba Bassa, Just an improvised melody to demonstrate the rhythm of the samba and the bossa novo with piano alone.

5. Jejouka, The name of an incredible Moroccan village at the top of a mountain where many people come for a cure (for mental illnesses) and where therapy is nothing other than music ! When Randy arrived in Jejouka the musicians were singing the song of Jejouka.

6. Portrait of Myriam Makeba, This balled came to Randy with relation to the great African songstress whom he met just last July at Tabarka in Tunisia. He heard her sing, with all the members of her group, a marvelous Guinean song which inspired this melody.

7. Con Alma (Dizzy Gillespie) I one of the most beautiful melodies composed by the great trumpet player and also great composer Dizzy Gillespie, who was one of the first to use Afro-Cuban rhythms with modern music, It Is one of the favorite melodies of Randy Weston. who loves to remember Dizzy and Cuba when he plays this music.

8. C.W. Blues is an amusing composition by Randy. because it is the rhythm of Black American Church songs and at the same time Randy plays for his daughter Cheryll whose initials are.. C.W. !

9. Yubadee is the best Ganawa musician. Those wonderful musicians with whom Randy Weston spent numerous months in Tangier. This melody was inspired by them.

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