Thursday, June 24, 2010

Randy Weston's African Cookbook

One of my favorite jazz musicians of all-time is pianist Randy Weston. Throughout his brilliant and long career the Brooklyn born native has written and performed some of the world's finest African-influenced jazz compositions of the past century. His compositions often blend together traditional jazz music with African rhythms and grooves to produce a compelling and captivating signature sound. His music and recordings were partly responsible for turning me on to jazz, as his music tends to crossover nicely with other forms of African music that I enjoy like Afrobeat and Afro funk. Therefore you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that the acclaimed jazz musician, along side his African Rhythms Trio, would be performing at this year's Stanford Jazz Festival. The performance will take place this Saturday night (June 26th) inside the Dinkelspiel Auditorium at the Stanford University. To help shed some light on this exciting upcoming performance I thought I would do a two-part post leading up to Saturday night's performance and share a couple of my favorite tracks by this incredible jazz artist.

One of my favorite compositions by Randy Weston has to be the title track from his 1972 album African Cookbook. This jazz piece, which is slightly over twelve minutes in length, consists of Weston's smooth piano playing backed by some funky percussion rhythms that help define the compositions overall groove. The track is rounded out nicely with Booker Ervin on the saxophone(tenor) and Ray Copeland on trumpet. For those who have never heard Weston before, or are less familiar to jazz music in general, I find that African Cookbook is a great starting point, especially for those, like myself, that tend to enjoy the more funkier side of music. Overall, this will probably be just one of the many great jazz compositions that Weston and his African Rhythms Trio perform during his much-anticipated Saturday night set. Overall, it's not everyday that one of the most influential musicians of the last century, like Randy Weston perform in the city where you live, therefore if you like in the bay area I highly recommend checking out this performance.

Purchase Tickets to Saturday night's performance

Randy Weston - African Cookbook

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