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recorded  1978  ?  
Vercelli   Italy
LP  1978    Cora   01

| real | wm |

  liner notes

Randy Weston piano

Produced by Randy Weston
Project-Director: Colette Giacomotti-Curty
Cover painting : Moktar Cisse

  1   Niger Mambo  (Bobby Benson)
  2   Portrait of Vivian
  3   Willie's Tune
  4   Hi-Fly

  5   The Man I Love


For me, the most compelling aspect of African culture. North, South, East and West, is its music, magnificent in its power and diversity, with the true drums African Rhythms always at the heart.

The music of no other civilization can rival that of Africa in the complexity and subtlety of its rhythms. All modern music no matter what it's called jazz, gospel, Latin, rock, bossa nova, calypso, samba, soul, the blues, even the freedom music of the avant-garde is in debt to African rhythms.

Randy Weston

It is a great honour, indeed, and I am very glad to have the opportunity, though it is a very difficult task, to present an artist as exceptional, as famous in the United States, well known in Africa and now, as popular among the European fans, as Randy Weston!

Thus, would I advise the jazz amateurs and the music lovers, all those who have not had yet the privilege of hearing this fantastic artist in the flesh, to listen carefully to this L.P. record before reading these lines (if it could ever teach them anything or convince them).

Randy Weston is considered to be a musician's musician , meaning a musician who was and still is admired and respected by all his colleagues, even before he had had time to reach the public. (Art Tatum and Eddie South were and still are through their recordings among this category of artists).

In Europe and particularly in France, Randy Weston won this kind of recognition as soon as his records had been published and distributed. This recognition increased in huge proportion after he had been one of the main features of the Montreux and Antibes-Juan-les-Pins International jazz Festivals in July 1974.

Myself, about two years after, I promoted a concert featuring Randy in an over packed concert hall. At the end of this concert, the audience, demanded more and more and the pianist had to leave the stage before the long and frantic standing . ovation was over. The same thing happened at the concert Randy played, surrounded, this time, by a jazz orchestra, in the biggest concert hall of Radio France radio station.

In the United States of America, Randy Weston was part of all the great musical events, such as the international jazz Festivals in Monterey and in Newport. He played in Carnegie Hall as well as in Philharmonic

Hall. He has performed in the most exclusive jazz clubs of U.S.A. ; and has toured all over America.

In 1972, Randy Weston organized the Music Festival in Tangier (where he lived for 6 years), he also opened the African Rhythms Club in order to project the beauty of African music. He performed and lectured in Nigeria, in 1961 and 1963. In 1967 Randy Weston and his sextet made a 3 month concert tour of 15 countries in West and North Africa as part of the U.S. State Department's Cultural Presentation Program.

Prolific composer, pianist gifted with a tremendous technique Randy Weston is one of the rare artists who has thorough and deep knowledge of the rich and complex tradition of Afro-American music (spirituals, gospel songs, traditional blues, rhythm and blues, soul music), of jazz, of occidental classical music, of the different forms of African music, as well as berberian, arable, moorish, Islamic traditions.

One of the truly greatest artists in the long history of Afro-American Music.

By Maurice Cullaz President of the Academy of Jazz

Was composed by one of Randy Weston's dearest friends : Bobby Benson, a composer who is very popular in Nigeria. Bobby Benson directs, with a lot of talent and energy, his own club in Lagos, where all the gifted numerous young musicians of Nigeria get together. Randy recorded this composition for the first time in 1964 with his sextet. This Bobby Benson's composition, according to Randy, represents exactly what is called high life style in West Africa. This time Randy recorded it in solo.

This Randy Weston's composition was composed in 1960. I wrote Portrait of Vivian for my mother, but it wasn't really created until Booker Ervin played it and left us a masterpiece of the tenor saxophone, a classic recalls Randy. And it is a double homage rendered with the tremedous interpretation Randy plays for us.

A swinging chef who danced and prepared great steaks while Randy played this tune. So therefore, he named the melody Willie's Tune . Randy performes a funny introductary children's song before the melody of Willie's Tune.

This composition has been often played and recorded by Randy Weston directing his band. It is the second time that be records it in solo. Randy composed it in 1958. It is probably, the most popular of all his compositions along side with Little Niles .

One of the most played standards by George Gershwin. It is a marvellous demonstration of Randy's creativity and of the impact of his personality on a popular musical theme.

Special thanks to my father Frank Edward Weston and Franco Fayenz
(Producer journalist)

1978  Randy Weston


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