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Randy Weston

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Drove over to Pittsfield, Ma last night to see Randy Weston appear with Alex Blake on bass. He was being honored by berkshiresjazz.org for his contributions to the berkshire 50 years ago and to jazz since. Got his break working at the Music Inn where he was hired to wash dishes. My first time seeing Weston. He is very articulate and speaks and appears like a man 20 years younger than his 84 years. Played two sets both shy of one hour. Some of the tunes you could expect, Little Niles and Berskhire Blues. Also performed The Healer, African Sunrise and African cookbook amongst others. Blake was interesting. He sits while playing the bass. And he plays it almost like a guitar at time with considerable use of strumming and slapping with this right hand. Good time

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I enjoyed hearing two sets by Randy Weston at Birdland in 2007. He's very articulate and it is a shame he is not recording regularly these days (though he is very interested in doing so).

BTW, his new autobiography African Rhythms (in collaboration with veteran jazz journalist Willard Jenkins) is due out this fall from Duke University Press.

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