Reference: FSRCD 716
Bar code: 8427328607162
When these well-crafted mid-fifties sessions were made, Randy Weston had a working trio and he and Cecil Payne were frequent partners, which accounts for the musics general air of ease. Its particularly true of the studio dates, With These Hands and The Modern Art Of Jazz, in which Paynes fluently mobile, surprisingly light and legato baritone makes an effective balance to Westons more percussive piano. Weston, recognised as one of the most original voices to emerge from under Thelonious Monks umbrella, lives up to the praise heaped on him, while the marvellous Payne rivals perhaps his greatest baritone contemporary, Serge Chaloff.
Highlights include the debut of Westons gorgeously exotic Little Niles, The Man I Love and These Foolish Things (taken much faster than usual) and the calypso-like Run Joe, to which trumpeter Ray Copeland ebulliently adds a Mexican spice. The live Jazz A La Bohemia is a relaxed affair, with Weston especially striking in a trio version of You Go to My Head. Piano and baritone are spurred on by the exuberant calypso Run Joe and stretch out rewardingly on Just a Riff. The most intriguing performance is Westons minor key but uptempo Chessmans Delight, with both stimulated to produce possibly their best work on the date.
"Fresh Sound Records is doing what Mosaic Records USED to do: put out important but obscure material by important but obscure artists. For some reason, Mosaic releases only dribbles a year, while the Spain-based Fresh Sound Records is making more music than the EU is printing Euros! Here is a 2-CD set that is a MUST for your collection...
Weve still got Randy Weston with us on earth, and we can thank God for that. Here, hes on a trio of fantastic sessions with Cecil Payne on the front line all throughout. The rest of the band is with Ahamed Abdul-Malik/b and either Wilbert Hogan, Willie Jones or Al Dreares on drums, with Ray Copeland sitting in on a few bopping tunes like Monks Well, You Neednt. And as long as were on the topic of Thelonious Sphere, we need to mention right here and now that Weston is really the only pianist who sounds like Monk at times because he was a friend of his, not a poser like everyone that does this stuff nowadays. Westons joyful percussive work on Just a Riff or This Cant Be Love are ivory raptures, and with Paynes chocolaty baritone on material such as I Cant Get Started or Do Nothin Till You Hear From Me, the sound is a hint of heaven. A live concert at the Bohemia lets everyone stretch out a groove a bit as well. Essential piano playing."
George W. Harris (www.jazzweekly.com / October 25, 2012)
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