The Weston Blue Room is the portal of entry to TGOW-I's Blues/Spiritual Matrix Database, a repository of Great Black Music - Ancient/Future! +
Our Big Brother, Chief Weston, departed this physical world and joined the realm of our Ancestors on September 1, 2018. Our work in The Weston Blue Room continues on "...In Memory Of" his wisdom and his vision.
EVOLVING STRUCTURED CRITICAL DIALOG:
Our formal relationship with NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston began after his performance at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in May, 2004. He accepted a luncheon invitation arranged by Ed Silvera and, as was the case on every subsequent meeting, he came bearing gifts - a DVD of his "Live in St Lucia" performance, and a copy of Wayne B. Chandler's book “Ancient Future: The Teachings and Prophetic Wisdom of the Seven Hermetic Laws of Ancient Egypt.”
This was followed in Spring of 2006 by Dr. Weston's acceptance of an invitation to serves as a Distinguished Scholar/Musician for Mississippi Valley State University's Delta Research & Cultural Institute Blues as Abstract Truth Residency. It was at the conclusion of this residency that the basis was established for a decade-long collaborative relationship with Dr. Weston focusing principally on a common interest we shared on the "Afrikan Roots of the Blues."
Highlights of this relationship included an evolving structured critical dialogue w/ Dr. Weston on a range of active projects that he was engaged in that are documented in the Weston Blue Room database. They include:
While on-going initiatives are noted below, our last conversations with Dr. Weston focused on his desired way forward. This included arrangements that he & his wife, Fatoumata, were making to donate his personal book library to the new Marcus Garvey Museum in Jamaica, & his desire to compose a new suite dedicated to the Legacy of Timbuktu with a tribute to this ancient Afrikan city's preeminent Scholar of Peace, Ahmed Baba.
Roots of the Blues Recording Session, Avatar Studio, NY 2013
Duet, featuring Randy Weston & Billy Harper
Explore a sample collection of Dr. Weston's Blues compositions spanning his 60+ year recording career. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: The Essence of Blue-Jazz
Journey into the world of Blue-Jazz with a full array of master musicians performing both instrumental and vocal renditions. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Blue-Jazz Listening Lounge
Enjoy this Spotify Playlist highlighting the wisdom of Chief Randy Weston via his compositions & arrangements that honor the Blues tradition on the continent of Afrika.
TGOW-I is proud to announce
the first course of our new
Independent Study Program World Cafe'
"THE AFRIKAN ROOTS OF THE BLUZZ"
Following the wisdom of Dr. Randy Weston,
we begin w/ an exploration of the
and conclude w/:
As he entered his 9th decade, Dr. Weston & his wife Fatoumata were firmly committed to safeguarding his legacy and securing the rights & benefits of his cultural productions, a commitment inspired by Weston's research on the early 20th century activities of James Reese Europe & the Clef Club. The two CDs below are exemplary models of their success in this regard.
This is planetary music stretching across millennia, nations, histories, landscapes, and soundscapes. Randy Weston is renowned for his boundless imagination & his resistance to categories. Taking as its subject matter the very origins of humanity, the suite was inspired by the discovery of the fossilized skeletal remains of what is believed to be the oldest example of a human-like hominid. Nicknamed "Ardi" (short for Artipithecus radius), she resided some 4.4 million years ago in the land that would become ancient Nubia and modern-day Ethiopia.
Weston manages to pay tribute the ancient tombs of Sidi Bilal in Aswan, the Sufi tradition, the holy city of Touba in Senegal, China's great Shang Dynasty, African folk music, the timeless history of the blues and the unity of human-kind. Grounded in the spiritual, the scholarly and poetic, it's fitting that the discoveries of Dr. Wayne Chandler, and the poetry of late Jayne Cortez also find voice in this work.
When Randy Weston touches a piano, he reaches way, way back to a time before pianos, back before civilizations began. Like the great spiritual diviners of Africa and the bluesman of the Diaspora, he reaches into the world of sound not yet born, creating statements of such startling originality that terms like "modern" or "avant-garde" are meaningless..... Weston's left-hand is a rumbling, majestic drum chorus while his right hand is a spirited circle of dancers. Everything he plays is a praise song to the Ancestors, especially his musical predecessors. Weston has absorbed the spirits of all the great "ticklers" - Duke, Art Tatum, Earl Hines, Nat Cole, Monk, all of them - and through his fertile imagination he always takes us on a journey from the ancient to the future and back again.
- Dr. Robin D. G. Kelly
Among Dr. Weston's most noted protegees is pianist Rodney Kendrick. Since 2004, Rodney has produced several albums, including a solo CD titled Thank You. He also participated in a duo-piano performance with his mentor Randy Weston, and worked on a project with his father, Jimmy Kay, a pianist who worked with saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, entitled "Black is Back". Below is an excerpt from the duo concert of Rodney & Randy performing Duke Ellington’s "Caravan".
This selection is from The Secrets Of..., pianist Rodney Kendrick's debut LP as a leader. Two compositions featured on this recording were written by his mentor Randy Weston, including the African percussion-driven "Ganawa in Paris", featured here, with excellent contributions from alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and trumpeter Roy Hargrove.
Though he cites Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk as his earliest inspirations, Rodney Kendrick’s unique percussive and harmonic piano style is reminiscent of Weston's style, but includes a distinctive blend of classic jazz piano, 70’s funk, and gospel stemming from his unique upbringing and artistic development. Here is another excerpt from the Rodney & Randy duo concert performing a Weston composition titled: "Berkshire Blues".
...it was only fitting!
Pianist Rodney Kendrick offers a moving rendition of
“The Healers" & "Congolese Children”
at the homegoing services of
NEA Jazz Master, Dr. Randy Weston,
his friend, and mentor, September 10, 2018.
TGOW-I's Blues/Spiritual Matrix database is a 200+ gigabyte repository of Great Black Music that includes extensive collections of music, videos and background research focusing on the Spirituals, Blues, African American Classical Music, Southern Soul, Black Protest, and traditional Afrikan music. Resources include original LPs, cassette recordings, CDs, DVDs, and a digital archive arranged in thematic "Rooms" for your convenience.
Digital archives in this room highlight traditional & contemporary Spirituals, and educational resources that support the goals of the DeltaMediaProject.com. The Spirituals are examined within the context of plantation economies, as well as the basis of such 20th century genres like the R&B, Jazz, and "Freedom Songs" of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Randy Weston Blue Room offers highlights of an outgrowth of structured critical dialogue w/ Dr. Weston on a range of active projects that he was engaged in from 2004 - 2018. Features include the organization of Blues compositions into themes, and special projects reflecting his personal research on African music history - Ancient/Future!
Glendora, MS's own Alex "Rice"Miller (12/5/1912 - 5/24/1965), is best known as Sonny Boy Williamson, II. and "King of the Blues Harmonica". This room is dedicated to his memory, and to the hundreds of male & female artists like B.B. King, Denise LaSalle and others associated w/ the history & evolution of Delta Blues.
The Golden Triangle room focuses on the Blues tradition in the wider Afrikan Diaspora, and features music from the Motherland, the Americas, and the Caribbean Islands. Resources extend back to examine the Afrikan Roots of the Blues, the evolution of styles like Reggae, and highlights from the music of Spain, Morocco, Cuba & Brazil.
The history of the Blues includes a wide range and array of "Protest Vibes" rarely played on commercial airwaves. These vibes evolve from artists like Leadbelly to Josh White, Nina Simone, Oscar Brown, Jr., Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott-Heron, Bob Marley, Fela, and continue up to & include the young artist associated w/ contemporary Hip-hop's "conscious" rap.
This room pays tribute to the genre known as "Southern Soul", including individual artists, groups & record labels that have contributed to it's legacy. Special honor & recognition is accorded to the on-going work of the Jus' Blues Music Foundation in presenting an "Annual Awards" celebration & its "Blues Got a Soul" youth education initiative.