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Randy Weston: Mosaic Select

This three-CD boxed set is a treasure trove for Randy Weston fans who can’t find, let alone afford, earlier albums from the prolific pianist-composer. Excerpted sessions include: Piano la Mode, 1957; Little Niles, 1958; Live at the Five Spot, 1959; The Roulette Jazz CD Sampler, 1960; Uhuru Afrika (Freedom Africa), 1960; and Highlife, 1963. In addition to the reissues, there are tunes that have never been issued. The Mosaic project will also appeal to those who share Weston’s fascination with the African roots of jazz.

The most memorable contributions are those of Melba Liston, who did all the arrangements and shows her skills as a trombonist. Then there is the name-dropping. Among those greats heard from here: Coleman Hawkins and Kenny Dorham, the front line on Weston’s best-known tune, “Hi-Fly,” as well as Clark Terry, Cecil Payne, Johnny Griffin, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Julius Watkins, Jimmy Cleveland, Freddie Hubbard, Budd Johnson, Max Roach, Gigi Gryce, Kenny Burrell–it never ends.

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