Randy Weston

Little Niles [2 LP]

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This attractive two-LP set has selections drawn from three of pianist Randy Weston's most interesting sessions of the late '50s. Seven songs (taken from the original album Little Niles) feature Weston in a sextet with tenor-saxophonist Johnny Griffin and either Ray Copeland or Idrees Sulieman on trumpet while four other selections (drawn from Destry Rides Again) match the pianist with four trombonists. However it is the second disc (originally issued as Live at the Five Spot) that is of greatest interest because Weston heads an all-star quintet (given Melba Liston's arrangements) that includes tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Overall the music is advanced bop with a strong nod toward African music. Well worth searching for.

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