Live At Jazz Central, 1995

Randy Weston

Pianist Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Sextet perform six songs

A modern jazz master who has always emphasized the connection between jazz and African music, pianist Randy Weston is featured in 1995 with a group that he named the African Rhythm Sextet.

While the individual musicians are not identified, this group probably includes tenor-saxophonist Billy Harper, Talib Kibwe briefly on the second saxophone, trombonist Benny Powell and bassist Alex Blake along with drums and percussion.

Weston and his musicians perform the driving “Loose Wig” (which features good Harper), “Three Pyramids and the Sphinx” (built off of Blake’s haunting bass line), “F.E.W. Blues” (featuring a dialogue between Weston and trombonist Powell who utilizes a plunger mute), a tender Harper-Weston duet on the ballad “The Dream Of It All,” some unaccompanied piano that brings in “The Healers,” and a celebratory “The Gathering.”

All in all, this is a fine 40-minute showcase for Randy Weston’s band in 1995.

– Scott Yanow