After contributing six decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary. Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations musically continue to inform and inspire. Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat, states jazz critic Stanley Crouch, but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique.
Randy Weston, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926, didn't have to travel far to hear the early jazz giants that were to influence him. Though Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and of course, Duke Ellington as his other piano heroes, it was Monk who had the greatest impact. He was the most original I ever heard, Weston remembers. He played like they must have played in Egypt 5000 years ago.
Randy Weston’s first recording as a leader came in 1954 on Riverside Records “Randy Weston plays Cole Porter - Cole Porter in a modern mood.” It was in the 50's when Randy Weston played around New York with Cecil Payne and Kenny Dorham that he wrote many of his best loved tunes, Saucer Eyes, Pam's Waltz, Little Niles, and, Hi-Fly. His greatest hit, Hi-Fly, Weston (who is 6' 8) says, is a tale of being my height and looking down at the ground