Uhuru Africa/Highlife

Randy Weston

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Uhuru Africa/Highlife Review

by Scott Yanow

A couple of pianist Randy Weston's most significant albums are combined on this single CD. 1960's Uhuru Afrika is one of the finest (and earliest) combinations of African rhythms with advanced jazz and it features Weston utilizing a 24-piece big band that includes 14 horns, one guitar, two bassists, three drummers, and three percussionists; Martha Flowers and Brock Peters take vocals on "African Lady," the best known of the four movements. Melba Liston was responsible for not only those charts but the Highlife session which has Weston showcased in a stripped-down 12-piece ensemble. Highly recommended, these sessions are among the recorded highpoints of Randy Weston's productive career.

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