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The Spirits of Our Ancestors

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Album Review

Pianist Randy Weston and arranger Melba Liston had a musical reunion on this special double-CD, their first joint project since 1973's Tanjah. Liston's charts for the pianist's ten originals perfectly fit Weston's adventurous style and the twelve-piece group (which includes three percussionists) is filled with highly individual voices including the tenors of Billy Harper and Dewey Redman. With trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and tenor-saxophonist Pharoah Sanders making guest appearances and Randy Weston heard at the peak of his powers, this is a highly recommended set.

Customer Reviews

This is a true find!

First heard this album back in 1992. My paiting professor, james phillips (africobra), hipped me to this album. Many a night was spent playing this album in the studio space while swiggin on cheap chianti out the jug. The original CDs I have skip do to overplaying so thanks I-Tune people for putting this on the list. For those of you whom like listening to Dave Koz, while sipping your "mocha latte" at Starbucks, this ain't the album for you. But if you are true lover of jazz and want to get away from the "to-do's" then this is the perscription!


I am currently reading the autobiography, 'composed' by Randy Weston...'arranged' by Willard Jenkins...and periodically, I stop to listen to some of the music/musicians he mentions...which makes the whole process "visual surround-sound"...then I got the urge to hear this amazing album, "Spirits of Our Ancestors". For the first time in a long time, I am seeing "choreography" again...Weston is a choreographer's dream come true! As I have watched him play during concerts affectionately patting the keys like a drummer I have listened to his interview at Sankofa Bookstore (D.C.) using his hands throughout the conversation like a I can "hear" him musically telling his life-story on each page...very much like an elder would tell the young...I thank the Creator for such gifts of sound, movement, sight...and "creations" like Randy Weston!!!


Born: April 6, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Placing Randy Weston into narrow, bop-derived categories only tells part of the story of this restless musician. Starting with the gospel of bop according to Thelonious Monk, Weston has gradually absorbed the letter and spirit of African and Caribbean rhythms and tunes, welding everything together into a searching, energizing, often celebratory blend. His piano work ranges across a profusion of styles from boogie-woogie through bop into dissonance, marking by a stabbing quality reminiscent of, but...
Full Bio
The Spirits of Our Ancestors, Randy Weston
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Mar 17, 1992

Customer Ratings