Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Sun 1 Jul
GLASGOW JAZZ FESTIVAL
What’s in a name? Often not a lot, but in the case of this trio led by master pianist Randy Weston, the connection with African rhythms is fundamental to his music. His uncompromising attitude to the African roots of both his people and jazz was fostered by his father, who also encouraged him to play piano.
‘When I was six years old, my father told me that I was an African born in America, and not to let anybody tell me that I was anything else but that. Therefore, you have to know your history as an African, and as a boy I was always reading about Africa before colonialism, before the exploitation and during the time of great African civilizations.’
Weston’s musical trajectory into jazz brought him into contact with great musicians like Coleman Hawkins and Thelonious Monk in the burgeoning New York scene of the 40s, but he always knew that he would eventually go to Africa and explore his roots at first hand. He did so in the 60s, travelling widely throughout the continent from his base in Morocco.
‘All music began in Africa. The ancient Egyptians had schools of music. They were the first ones to write music, and they were master instrument makers. So the whole concept of music was created in Africa and then spread to Europe and spread to other parts of the world. Most people don’t understand or realise that.’