Randy Weston’s “African Rhythms”

Praise for “African Rhythms”

Here’s what they’re saying about African Rhythms, the as-told-to autobiography of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, Composed by Randy Weston, Arranged by Willard Jenkins, released in October 2010 by Duke University Press:

“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 [84]. He is a living link with the golden era of the 1950s and 60s, 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 magazine (November 2010)

“African Rhythms is unlike anything I’ve ever read.  Randy Weston – pianist, composer,  bandleader, activist, ambassador, visionary, griot – takes the reader on a most spectacular spiritual journey from Brooklyn to Africa, around the world and back again.  He tells a story of this great music that has never been told in print: tracing its African roots and branches, acknowledging the ancestors who helped bring him to the music and draw the music from his soul, singing praise songs for those artistic and intellectual giants whose paths he crossed, from Langston Hughes to Melba Liston, Dizzy to Monk, Marshall Stearns to Cheikh Anta Diop.  And in the process, Mr. Weston bares his soul, revealing a man overflowing with ancient wisdom, humility, respect for history, and a capacity for creating some of the most astoundingly beautiful music the modern world has ever experienced.”
— Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

“Randy Weston is a magical, spiritual, ebullient, and generous soul who just happens to be one of the most original composers and pianists of the last sixty years.  African Rhythms is his fascinating story in his own voice – a story that starts in Brooklyn and moves through the Berkshires, Africa, and Europe, before returning to Brooklyn.  A wonderful read.”
— Michael Cuscuna, jazz producer and writer

Stay tuned to The Independent Ear on this site for updates on our book signings schedule.

Get your copy now!  Specially autographed copies of African Rhythms are available to visitors to this site for a limited time only. Contact Willard Jenkins to order your autographed copy today!