Randy Weston

Randy Weston

Infobox musical artist
Name = Randy Weston

Img_capt = (photographer: Bob Travis)
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1926|4|6|mf=y
Died =
Origin = Brooklyn, New York, USA
Instrument = Piano
Voice_type =
Genre = Jazz
Occupation = Pianist, Composer, Bandleader
Years_active = 1950s – Present
Label = Verve, Riverside, Atlantic, Antilles, Capitol
Associated_acts =
URL = [http://www.randyweston.info/ www.RandyWeston.info]
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Randy Weston (born April 6, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York), is an American jazz pianist and composer, of Jamaican parentage.


Randy Weston has had a considerable career in jazz as a pianist, composer, and bandleader. He emerged in the mid-1950s, being voted New Star Pianist in "Down Beat" magazine's International Critics' Poll of 1955, the year after his recording debut as a leader, with the album "Cole Porter In a Modern Mood". Several notable albums followed, including "Little Niles" near the end of that decade. His piano style owes much to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk (he has paid direct tribute to both), but it is highly distinctive in its qualities: percussive, highly rhythmic, capable of producing a wide variety of moods.

In the 1960s, Weston's music prominently incorporated African elements, as shown on the large-scale "Uhuru Africa" (with the participation of poet Langston Hughes) and "Highlife: Music From the New African Nations". In addition, during these years his band often featured the great tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin.

In 1967 Weston traveled throughout Africa with a US cultural delegation. The last stop of the tour was Morocco, where he decided to settle, running his African Rhythms Club, during 1967-1972. For a long stretch he recorded infrequently and on obscure labels. However, he made quite an impact with the two-CD recording "The Spirits of Our Ancestors" (recorded 1991; released 1992), which featured sterling work by arranger Melba Liston, a long-time collaborator. The album contained new, expanded versions of many of his greatest pieces; featured a tight ensemble, including some African musicians; included legendary guests such as Dizzy Gillespie and Pharoah Sanders; and showcased the entirety of Weston's musical art.

Randy Weston has since produced a series of first-rate albums in a variety of formats: solo, trio, mid-sized groups, and collaborations with the "gnawa" musicians of Morocco. Weston’s greatest compositions include "Hi-Fly," "Little Niles," "Berkshire Blues," "African Sunrise," "The Healers," "Blue Moses," and "African Cookbook."

In 2002 Weston performed with bassist James Lewis for the inauguration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. In June 2006, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

elected discography

*"Cole Porter in a Modern Mood" (Riverside): 1954
*"Randy Weston Solo, Duo, Trio with Art Blakey" (Riverside): 1955
*"Get Happy with Randy Weston Trio" : 1955
*"The Modern Art of Jazz" : 1956
*"Piano a la Mode" : 1957
*"Little Niles" (Blue Note): 1958-59
*"Live at the Five Spot" (United Artists): 1959
*"Uhuru Afrika" (Capitol): 1960
*"High Life" : 1963
*"African Cookbook" (Atlantic): 1964
*"Berkshire Blues" : 1965
*"Blue Moses" : 1972
*"Tanjah" : 1973
*"Blues To Africa" : 1974
*"Monterey, '66" (Verve): released in 1994
*"Portraits of Duke Ellington" (Verve): 1989
*"Portraits of Thelonious Monk" (Verve): 1989
*"Self Portraits" (Verve): 1989
*"The Spirits of Our Ancestors" (Antilles): 1991
*"Volcano Blues" (Antilles): 1993
*"Saga" (Verve): 1995
*"Earth Birth" (Verve): featuring Montreal String Orchestra, 1997
*"Khepera" (Verve): 1998
*"Spirit! The Power of Music" (Arkadia): featuring Gnawa musicians, 1999
*"Zep Tepi" (Random Chance): 2006

External links

* [http://www.randyweston.info/ Randy Weston official site]
* [http://openvault.wgbh.org/saybrother/MLA001124/index.html: "Pianist Randy Weston performs 'The Healers' "] for the WGBH series, [http://openvault.wgbh.org/series/Say+Brother/ Say Brother]
* [http://www.nypl.org/research/sc/scl/MULTIMED/JAZZHIST/rwcat.htm Video Gallery Cataloging Data: Randy Weston] from The New York Public Library site
* [http://www.jazz.com/features-and-interviews/2008/4/15/octojazzarian-profile-randy-weston "Profile: Randy Weston"] by Arnold Jay Smith, ( [http://www.jazz.com Jazz.com] )


* [http://www.randyweston.info/randy-weston-photo-pages/randy-weston-gnawa-photo-pages/randy-weston-gnawa-flashpage.html Randy Weston with Gnawa musicians video]

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