African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston - Refiguring American Music (Hardback)
  • African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston - Refiguring American Music (Hardback)
zoom

African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston - Refiguring American Music (Hardback)

(author), (author)
£43.00
Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 05/10/2010
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
The pianist, composer, and bandleader Randy Weston is one of the world's most influential jazz musicians and a remarkable storyteller whose career has spanned five continents and more than six decades. Packed with fascinating anecdotes, African Rhythms is Weston's life story, as told by him to the music journalist Willard Jenkins. It encompasses Weston's childhood in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood-where his parents and other members of their generation imbued him with pride in his African heritage-and his introduction to jazz and early years as a musician in the artistic ferment of mid-twentieth-century New York. His music has taken him around the world: he has performed in eighteen African countries, in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, in the Canterbury Cathedral, and at the grand opening of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina: The New Library of Alexandria. Africa is at the core of Weston's music and spirituality. He has traversed the continent on a continuous quest to learn about its musical traditions, produced its first major jazz festival, and lived for years in Morocco, where he opened a popular jazz club, the African Rhythms Club, in Tangier.

Weston's narrative is replete with tales of the people he has met and befriended, and with whom he has worked. He describes his unique partnerships with Langston Hughes, the musician and arranger Melba Liston, and the jazz scholar Marshall Stearns, as well as his friendships and collaborations with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Billy Strayhorn, Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, the novelist Paul Bowles, the Cuban percussionist Candido Camero, the Ghanaian jazz artist Kofi Ghanaba, the Gnawa musicians of Morocco, and many others. With African Rhythms, an international jazz virtuoso continues to create cultural history.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822347842
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 576 g
Dimensions: 226 x 155 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Weston has dedicated his life to spreading African music throughout the world and forging a bond with his identity as an African American musician. African Rhythms ably recounts his sometimes arduous journey to becoming
a true cross-cultural ambassador." - Jon Ross, Downbeat
"Randy Weston is a monumental figure in contemporary jazz, a man whose creativity remains undimmed at the age of 83. He is a living link with the golden era of the 1950s and 60s, a time during which trailblazing musicians and revolutionary thinkers wholly energised African-American arts and politics. As this absolutely fascinating biography reveals, Weston. . . has lived a very full life that has seen him not only excel as a musician but also make hugely important cultural and political statements that had the intent and effect of uplifting blacks in America during a time of second class citizenship. A recurrent theme in the text is thus Weston's focus on concrete initiatives to improve civil rights. . . . Essential reading for anybody interested in learning something of a great man as well as a great musician." - Kevin La Gendre, Jazzwise
"Randy Weston knows more about jazz and more about Africa than most of us. Hence this book-more musical, philosophical and spiritual, with a more personal voice than most jazz autobiographies-is loaded with knowledge and insights about both topics. . . . From Stearns to the Gnawa musician healers of Morocco, from poet Langston Hughes to Dizzy Gillespie, Weston's
fascinating journey is well worth the read." - George Kanzler, All About Jazz- New York
"No one has done more to explore and celebrate the African roots of jazz than pianist/composer Randy Weston. Weston demonstrates a pride in his ancestry and culture that is both the primary source of his artistic inspiration and the central theme that suffuses this fascinating autobiography. . . . Weston refers to himself as 'a storyteller through music' rather than a jazz musician. He's unsurpassed as a goodwill ambassador." - Jay Trachtenberg, Austin Chronicle
"Now in his 80's, Weston, in this book, sounds eternally optimistic and full of wonder about his life. He comes off as joyous and spiritual as his music. Reading this is enough to make you want to dig out whatever Weston CDs you might have and listen to them again with a greater understanding of what went into the music. This book is worthy of his expansive talents."
- Jerome Wilson, Cadence
"African Rhythms is perhaps the next truly wonderful jazz autobiography. It succeeds so fully not because of hyperbole or personality but because Weston-a pianist and composer criminally underappreciated even among serious jazz fans-has a unique musical story to tell. This story is highly recommended to jazz listeners, in large part, because it makes you want to dive back into one of the most gripping discographies in the music. . . . If you haven't heard Weston's music, really listened to it, then African Rhythms is the strongest possible incentive to tune in. Is there any higher praise for a book about music than that it got you to start listening?" - Will Layman, PopMatters
"African Rhythms is unlike anything I've ever read. Randy Weston-pianist, composer, bandleader, activist, ambassador, visionary, griot-takes the reader on a most spectacular spiritual journey from Brooklyn to Africa, around the world and back again. He tells a story of this great music that has never been told in print: tracing its African roots and branches, acknowledging the ancestors who helped bring him to the music and draw the music from his soul, singing praise songs for those artistic and intellectual giants whose paths he crossed, from Langston Hughes to Melba Liston, Dizzy to Monk, Marshall Stearns to Cheikh Anta Diop. And in the process, Mr. Weston bares his soul, revealing a man overflowing with ancient wisdom, humility, respect for history, and a capacity for creating some of the most astoundingly beautiful music the modern world has ever experienced."-Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
"Randy Weston is a magical, spiritual, ebullient, and generous soul who just happens to be one of the most original composers and pianists of the last sixty years. African Rhythms is his fascinating story in his own voice-a story that starts in Brooklyn and moves through the Berkshires, Africa, and Europe before returning to Brooklyn. A wonderful read."-Michael Cuscuna, jazz producer and writer
". . . Part memoir, part travelogue, part philosophical treatise. Mr. Weston is especially informative about how he briefly fled New York in his early 20s to escape the drug scene that was becoming endemic among young jazzmen, as well as about the making of classic albums like Uhuru Africa and Blue Moses." -- Will Friedwald * Wall Street Journal *
"African Rhythms is perhaps the next truly wonderful jazz autobiography. It succeeds so fully not because of hyperbole or personality but because Weston-a pianist and composer criminally underappreciated even among serious jazz fans-has a unique musical story to tell. This story is highly recommended to jazz listeners, in large part, because it makes you want to dive back into one of the most gripping discographies in the music. . . . If you haven't heard Weston's music, really listened to it, then African Rhythms is the strongest possible incentive to tune in. Is there any higher praise for a book about music than that it got you to start listening?" -- Will Layman * PopMatters *
"No one has done more to explore and celebrate the African roots of jazz than pianist/composer Randy Weston. Weston demonstrates a pride in his ancestry and culture that is both the primary source of his artistic inspiration and the central theme that suffuses this fascinating autobiography. . . . Weston refers to himself as 'a storyteller through music' rather than a jazz musician. He's unsurpassed as a goodwill ambassador." -- Jay Trachtenberg * Austin Chronicle *
"Now in his 80's, Weston, in this book, sounds eternally optimistic and full of wonder about his life. He comes off as joyous and spiritual as his music. Reading this is enough to make you want to dig out whatever Weston CDs you might have and listen to them again with a greater understanding of what went into the music. This book is worthy of his expansive talents."
-- Jerome Wilson * Cadence *
"Randy Weston is a monumental figure in contemporary jazz, a man whose creativity remains undimmed at the age of 83. He is a living link with the golden era of the 1950s and 60s, a time during which trailblazing musicians and revolutionary thinkers wholly energised African-American arts and politics. As this absolutely fascinating biography reveals, Weston. . . has lived a very full life that has seen him not only excel as a musician but also make hugely important cultural and political statements that had the intent and effect of uplifting blacks in America during a time of second class citizenship. A recurrent theme in the text is thus Weston's focus on concrete initiatives to improve civil rights. . . . Essential reading for anybody interested in learning something of a great man as well as a great musician." -- Kevin La Gendre * Jazzwise *
"Randy Weston knows more about jazz and more about Africa than most of us. Hence this book-more musical, philosophical and spiritual, with a more personal voice than most jazz autobiographies-is loaded with knowledge and insights about both topics. . . . From Stearns to the Gnawa musician healers of Morocco, from poet Langston Hughes to Dizzy Gillespie, Weston's fascinating journey is well worth the read." -- George Kanzler * All About Jazz *
"Weston has dedicated his life to spreading African music throughout the world and forging a bond with his identity as an African American musician. African Rhythms ably recounts his sometimes arduous journey to becoming a true cross-cultural ambassador." -- Jon Ross * DownBeat *

You may also be interested in...

Spectacles
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Glossy Years
Added to basket
More Than Likely
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
Before We Was We
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.99
Hardback
Really?
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Year of the Monkey
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.99
Hardback
Gotta Get Theroux This
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.99
Hardback
My Last Supper
Added to basket
£16.99
Hardback
Face It
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.99
Hardback
Straight Outta Crawley
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Born A Crime
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Wham! George & Me
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.99
Hardback
Naturally Tan
Added to basket
£16.99
Hardback
Made In Scotland
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Wham! George & Me
Added to basket
The Lives of Lucian Freud
Added to basket
£35.00   £30.00
Hardback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.