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Randy Weston - Complete Recordings: 1955-1957

Randy Weston - Complete Recordings: 1955-1957

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A hugely gifted pianist, composer and bandleader, Randy Weston is among the most highly regarded jazz musicians still active. A great admirer, esteemed fellow keys player Marian McPartland OBE, hailed him "one of the world's great visionary pianists and composers." With nods to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, Weston is well known for his distinctive and unique sound, one able to induce the full spectrum of emotion in the listener via his rhythmic, percussive technique. Born 6th April 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, his Jamaican parents owned a restaurant in the borough. Weston began taking classical piano and dance lessons at an early age, and when his father Frank enrolled him at the highly-reputable Boys High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the young pianist began studying under Professor Atwell - a teacher who allowed him to explore music outside the classical genre. After a brief stint in the army during World War II, Weston opened his own restaurant, a venue that would become a popular hangout for leading bebop players. Many keyboard giants would frequent the eatery, including Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington and Weston s cousin, Wynton Kelly. However, it would be the visits by Thelonious Monk that would have the most profound and lasting impact on Weston s career. Randy Weston turned professional towards the end of the 1940s, playing in the bands of Bullmoose Jackson, Frank Culley and Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, then collaborating with Kenny Dorham and Cecil Payne in 1953 and 1954 respectively. Weston also struck out on his own in 54, recording his debut album as band leader, Cole Porter in a Modern Mood (Riverside), released in 1955. He would continue to front his own groups thereafter and would enjoy a fruitful and critically-acclaimed period from the mid to late 1950s. Notable offerings from this era include With These Hands... (Riverside, 1956), a lesser known gem and the first of several albums to feature saxophonist Cecil Payne, Trio and Solo (Riverside, 1957), a selection of earlier sessions that boasted an appearance from drummer Art Blakey, and Jazz á la Bohemia (Riverside, 1956), a much-praised live album recorded at the legendary Greenwich Village club.

This compilation of six complete albums provides a perfect introduction to one of the most enduring talents in jazz. Collated across three discs in a faithfully remastered format, the musical skill and dexterity demonstrated at the beginning of a long and decorated career is awe-inspiring, and serves as an ideal starting point for those new to Randy Weston and a welcome reminder for the rest of us.

- Disc 1 -
1 Get Out of Town 4:32
2 I Get a Kick Out of You 3:13
3 I Love You 3:00
4 In the Still of the Night 4:43
5 Just One of Those Things 4:32
6 Night and Day 3:38
7 What Is This Thing Called Love 2:53
8 I've Got You Under My Skin 3:09
9 Get Happy 3:46
10 Fire Down There 2:55
11 Where Are You? 4:13
12 Under Blunder 3:10
13 Dark Eyes 3:38
14 Summertime 4:01
15 Bass Knows 5:20
16 C - Jam Blues 2:54
17 A Ballad 4:25
18 Twelfth Street Rag 3:00


- Disc 2 -
1 The Man I Love 4:01
2 Serenade in Blue 2:53
3 I Can't Get Started with You 8:44
4 This Can't Be Love 3:00
5 These Foolish Things 4:36
6 Lifetime 4:15
7 Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me 5:10
8 Little Niles 4:53
9 Theme: Solemn Meditation 0:50
10 Just a Riff 9:57
11 You Go to My Head 6:13
12 Once in a While 6:31
13 Hold 'Em Joe 7:28
14 It's All Right with Me 3:48
15 Chessman's Delight 9:28
16 Theme: Solemn Meditation 1:17


- Disc 3 -
1 Sweet Sue, Just You 3:47
2 Pam's Waltz 3:45
3 Solemn Meditation 7:01
4 Again 5:07
5 Zulu 3:30
6 If You Could See Me Now 3:40
7 Little Girl Blue 3:59
8 We'll Be Together Again 4:12
9 Softness 4:29
10 Lover 4:07
11 Loose Wig 3:01
12 Run Joe 3:43
13 A Theme for Teddy 5:42
14 In a Little Spanish Town 3:02
15 Don't Blame Me 5:18
16 J & K Blues 4:18
17 Well, You Needn't 5:01
18 How High the Moon 4:50

 


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