Monday, February 04, 2019

Uhuru the Day

It's time to begin the February festivities with this wicked 43rd anniversary concert from someone who only just departed our plane last year.
He passed away last September, having lived to be a colossal 92.
One of the musicians of our epoch central to the advent of African influence in it, he drew a direct thread from the music of that continent straight to Jazz.
He began way back at the end of WWII, and a move from NYC to the Berkshires in New England soon after brought him into contact with others who would shape his direction towards the Motherland.
In essence he took the cross-cultural influences of Duke Ellington's music one step further, and in doing so helped to pioneer the Afrocentric attitudes that would come to bear later on in Jazz and other musics.
Really there's no way to chart these influences upon all music over the last 70 years without touching upon the exquisite sounds generated by Randy Weston.
So to honor his life -- I rarely do these death tributes on or around the day of departure, preferring to do them on a show anniversary or the person's next birthday because death is such a terminal drag -- we've got this incredible remaster of a recent France Musique rebroadcast.
This was worked on by two of the superheavyweights of the archival audioverse and documents nigh on the full performance of one of the Maestro's finest ensembles.
Watch out for the great Benny Bailey blowing his horn, and also for stalwart drummer Arthur Taylor, who himself probably played on 50 million sessions and concerts.
Randy Weston
Studio 104
Maison de la Radio
Paris, France

01 Afro-Black
02 Berkshire Blues
03 Blues for Strayhorn
04 Niger Mambo
05 African Village/Bedford-Stuyvesant
06 announcement
07 Buena Cosecha (Good Harvest)
08 African Cookbook
09 Hi-Fly
10 Now's the Time

Total time: 1:47:51
disc break goes after Track 05

Randy Weston - piano
Benny Bailey - trumpet
Wilton Gaynair - tenor sax
Jimmy Woode - bass
Art Taylor -drums
Humberto Canto - percussion

Tom Phillips/Lewojazz remaster of a 2018 France Musique rebroadcast
I shall return next weekend after I spend the next few days working on a seriously necromantic remaster, one where the not-yet-dead get raised.
But today, if you're smart, you'll get pasted to this vintage couple of hours of what made Randy Weston one of the truly mammoth talents and musical behemoths of our age!--J.
4.6.1926 - 9.1.2018