Blue (African Rhythms)

Randy Weston

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Blue (African Rhythms) Review

by Ken Dryden

Randy Weston sticks to solo piano on this very enjoyable 1983 studio session, predominately sticking to his memorable original compositions. The opener, "Penny Packer Blues" alternates between brief, fairly soft interludes with forceful, strident piano playing, with Weston quietly singing along to himself most of the way. The somewhat dissonant "Earth Birth," first recorded by the pianist nearly a quarter of a century prior to this version, still maintains its magic, representing the composer's interpretation of a child's view of the world. The exotic flavor of "Blue in Tunisia" is a salute to Weston's father, who died prior to the release of the album. Like all recordings made for the tiny 1750 Arch label, the engineering is impeccable. Unfortunately, due to the demise of the company, this first rate recording has yet to reappear on CD.

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