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Both as performer and composer, Randy Weston is a considerable figure in modern jazz piano, with a highly distinctive style: percussive, decidedly rhythmic, full of charm and encompassing a wide variety of moods. His gifts are much in evidence on this fine CD, which gathers two of his albums from the late 1950s. On the fashionable jazz version of Harold Romess Broadway hit, Destry Rides Again, he reveals a particular interest in the melodic beauty of the songs, emerging from the stylized four-trombone ensemble work arranged by Melba Liston to provide what is, in many ways, a rewarding experience.
On Little Niles, in an effective, unpretentious reflection on his childhood impressions, he plays his own compositions, with Melba Liston again doing the arranging on a great album that provides an insightful glimpse into Westons waltzfilled world. Throughout, his playing shows a rare combination of strength and gentleness, in an ebb and flow of sound as fluid and natural as the waves of the sea.
01. Were Ladies (Harold Rome) 1:53
02. I Know Your Kind (Harold Rome) 2:29
03. Rose Lovejoy of Paradise Alley (Harold Rome) 2:29
04. Anyone Would Love You (Harold Rome) 3:04
05. Once Knew a Fella (Harold Rome) 2:15
06. Every Once in a While (Harold Rome) 2:13
07. Fair Warning (Harold Rome) 2:50
08. Are You Ready Gyp Watson? (Harold Rome) 1:46
09. That Ring on the Finger (Harold Rome) 2:08
10. Once Knew a Fella (Harold Rome) 2:39
11. I Say Hello (Harold Rome) 2:50
12. Earth Birth (Randy Weston) 2:52
13. Little Susan (Randy Weston) 3:22
14. Nice Ice (Randy Weston) 2:55
15. Little Niles (Randy Weston) 6:00
16. Pam's Waltz (Randy Weston) 3:13
17. Babe's Blues (Randy Weston) 6:56
18. Let's Climb a Hill (Randy Weston) 5:51
All arrangements by Melba Liston
Original LP sources:
Tracks #1-11, from the 12-inch LP "Destry Rides Again"
(United Artists UAS 5045).
Tracks #12-18, from the 12-inch LP "Little Niles"
(United Artists UAS 5011).
Personnel on #1-11:
Bennie Green, Slide Hampton, Frank Rehak, Melba Liston (tb), Randy Weston (p), Peck Morrison (b), Elvin Jones (d), Willie Rodriguez (conga).
Compositions by Harold Rome
Recorded in New York City, May 1959
Personnel on #12-18:
Idrees Sulieman (tp on #17), Ray Copeland (tp on all others except on #18), Melba Liston (tb except on #18), Johnny Griffin (ts except on #18), Randy Weston (p), George Joyner (Jamil Nasser) (b), Charles Persip (d, tympani on #18).
Compositions by Randy Weston
Recorded in New York City, October 1958.
Original recordings produced by Jack Lewis
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.