African Rhythms, the autobiography of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, Composed by Randy Weston, Arranged by Willard Jenkins (Duke University Press), is currently available online at such major outlets as Amazon.com. It will be released to retail internationally on November 9, coinciding with the release of Randy’s new record for the Motema label: Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Sextet “The Story Teller,” recorded live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and featuring the late, lamented trombonist Benny Powell’s final recording, plus saxophonist T.K. Blue, bassist Alex Blake, Neil Clarke on African percussion, and drummer Lewis Nash.
Advance praise for African Rhythms is beginning to come in from many directions, including the following…
“Whether advocating black musicians’ rights in the 1960s, recording with traditional African musicians in the 1990s, or inaugurating the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt in the 2000s, the common thread which runs through African Rhythms is Weston’s enduring love affair with African culture and its importance as the progenitor of jazz and pretty much everything else besides. This is an important addition to the jazz historiography and a long anticipated read for fans of this giant of African American music, aka jazz.” — All About Jazz (October 2010)
“Randy Weston is a monumental figure in contemporary jazz, a man whose creativity remains undimmed at the age of . He is a living link with the golden era of the 1950s and 60, a time during which trailblazing musicians and revolutionary thinkers wholly energised African-American arts and politics. As this absolutely fascinating autobiography reveals, Weston… has lived a very full life that has seen him not only excel as a musician, but also make hugely important cultural and political statements that had the intent and effect of uplifting blacks in America during a time of second class citizenship. A recurrent theme in the text is thus Weston’s focus on concrete initiatives to improve civil rights… Essential reading for anybody interested in learning something of a great man as well as a great musician.” — Jazzwise magazine (October 2010)
“African Rhythms… is a tour of African spirituality… While Weston is credited as the composer of African Rhythms, Willard Jenkins is listed as the arranger, stringing together hours upon hours of interviews into a structurally sound and engaging narrative… Weston has dedicated his life to spreading African music throughout the world and forging a bond with his identity as an African American musician. African Rhythms ably recounts his sometimes arduous journey to becoming a true cross-cultural ambassador.” — DownBeat mazazine (November 2010)