African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston

African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston

by Randy Weston, Willard Jenkins
     
 

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African Rhythms is the autobiography of the important jazz pianist, composer and band leader Randy Weston. He tells of his childhood in Brooklyn, his six decades long musical career, his time living in Morocco, and his lifelong quest to learn about the musical and cultural traditions of Africa.See more details below

Overview

African Rhythms is the autobiography of the important jazz pianist, composer and band leader Randy Weston. He tells of his childhood in Brooklyn, his six decades long musical career, his time living in Morocco, and his lifelong quest to learn about the musical and cultural traditions of Africa.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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

Will Layman

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?”
Jay Trachtenberg

“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.”
Jerome Wilson

“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.”
Kevin La Gendre

“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.”
George Kanzler

“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.”
Jon Ross

“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.”
Robin D. G. Kelley

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.”
Michael Cuscuna

“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.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822393108
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Publication date:
01/23/2015
Series:
a John Hope Franklin Center Book
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,278,033
File size:
2 MB

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