Monday, November 15, 2010

African Rhythms

Well, I'm back from my wonderful and much needed vacation in Hawaii. As you might imagine, I got a lot of sun and a lot of relaxation. Another thing that I did while I was in Maui was start reading the new autobiography of Randy Weston titled African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston. I've only finished eight chapters of the nineteen chapter book, however I would already highly recommend this book for anyone that has a fascination for African music, culture, and of course the life of Randy Weston. In this autobiography, Randy does a great job of not only highlighting his music career, but also discussing the social and cultural barriers he had to constantly deal with, being an African-American jazz musician growing up in Brooklyn. Throughout the book, Randy talks about his strong spiritual and music connection to Africa and how it was the foundation for most of his compositions. He also talks about some of the jazz artists that helped influence and shape his music like Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Coleman Hawkins as well as the outspoken novelist and poet Langston Hughes. With each page, I feel like I'm understanding more and more the life, the music, and the person that is the legendary jazz giant Randy Weston. I've been a fan of Randy's compositions for as long as I've enjoyed jazz music. It might be safe to say that his music, along with Dizzy Gillespie's music, is what got me interested into jazz in the first place. Since I've been spending a lot of time reading this fascinating book, I thought I would share another one of my favorite compositions by Randy Weston in "The Memory Of". This composition was featured on Randy's 1973 album Tanjah. Like many of Randy's records, this album has an overall funky African groove with an all-star rhythm section that includes the legendary Cuban percussionist Candido on congas. Overall, it's a great track from an artist that was always seeking the ancient African spirit within. Enjoy!

Randy Weston - In Memory Of

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A must-read post for every Prodigy fan :)