Randy Weston: The African Nubian Suite

Pianist, composer and historian, Randy Weston delivers a two hour concert that is described as both a “suite” and “symphony” in the liner notes. Through voice, piano and traditional third world instruments, Weston produces a complete circle of sounds, as sounds from Africa, the Caribbean, 52nd Street and Brooklyn all mix together to show the sonic tapestry of sounds ranging from the blues to folk sounds.

Almost every song is either introduced or narrated by Weston or Wayne Chandler, while the songs are usually delivered in trio formula. The connection between jazz and Africa is palpable as Weston teams up his striding fingers with Robert Trowers’ growling plunger mute on”Blues For Ticky Sam” while Billy Harper’s tenor moans on “Cleanhead Blues.” Weston’s spiderlike fingers walk beside Howard Johnson’s tuba on “Ardi” while sounds of West Africa glisten like the Sahel desert wit kora, flute and Weston’s p iano on”Spirit of Touba.” A rich gumbo of things that go bump in the night form a rich migration along the Serengeti during “The African Family Percussion” while Tanpani Demda Cissoko testifies like a preacher  on “Soundiata.”

Weston has been adept throughout his career in demonstrating how all sounds and music comes from Africa, as Weston and company show how the Edenic origins of Ethiopian have stretched all the way to America and back.


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