Tuesday, February 15, 2011
African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston
In African Rhythms, Weston puts down his story in workmanlike but engaging prose (with the help of jazz writer Willard Jenkins), relating his connection to his father, who raised him in Brooklyn with great pride in being a man with roots in Africa, then his unusual jazz apprenticeship in the Berkshires where he started playing seriously in the mountain resorts, then his inevitable travel to and residency in Morocco. My full review of the book on PopMatters is HERE.
African Rhythms is a huge triumph in getting the reader to hunger to hear Weston's music. It sent me back to his recordings with truly fresh ears. And while the book itself was occasionally awkward or repetitious in its storytelling, the musical story it had to tell was riveting and unique. Weston's has been a jazz life like no other. For fans of the music, this is a fine and true jazz man's tale.