Randy Weston – Blue Moses (1972/2013)
DSD64 (.dsf) 1 bit/2,82 MHz | Time – 36:55 minutes | 1,45 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 36:55 minutes | 743 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: e-Onkyo | Booklet, Front Cover
Genre: Jazz | © CTI Records
“Blue Moses” is an album by American jazz pianist and composer Randy Weston featuring performances recorded in 1972 and released on the CTI label. Like already reissued albums, “Blue Moses” has not previously been released on CD in the US or Europe.
Recorded in 1972, Blue Moses, the most commercially successful album in pianist/composer Randy Weston’s catalog remains one of his most controversial due to his conflicted feelings about the final product, which he feels is too polished and too far from his original intent for the project. Indeed, appearing on Creed Taylor’s CTI imprint was an almost certain guarantee of polished production. Weston plays both acoustic and Rhodes piano here; he was backed by a band of CTI’s star-studded stable: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, flutists Hubert Laws and Romeo Penque, drummer Billy Cobham, alternate bassists Ron Carter and Bill Wood, and percussionists Phil Kraus, Airto Moreira, and Weston’s son Azzedin. This group was backed by a punchy Don Sebesky-arranged horn section. Blue Moses, consists of four compositions; it was an attempt by Weston to showcase the influence “Ganawa” music from Morocco had on him as a composer. “Ganawa (Blues Moses),” with its frenetic, minor-key piano lines, knotty, Middle Eastern Eastern-sounding charts, and skittering North African rhythms push the listener into a new space, one that stands outside of CTI’s usual frame in, and into, the exotic. The brass is aggressive, and while that might overshadow some recordings of lesser substance, Sebesky knew what he had in Weston’s tunes, and reigned his players in just enough to keep the dynamics fresh, open, and full of engaged call-and- response playing between Weston, Hubbard, and Laws. So too, album closer “Marrakesh Blues,” with wordless backing vocals by Madame Meddah, twinned trumpet and flute lines, gorgeous electric piano solos, and a deep, strolling bassline. It’s an Eastern modal blues with the sound of a horn section to boost its drama.”Night in the Media” is a labyrinthine, more abstract piece, but utterly atmospheric and colorful in its arrangement, with exciting interplay between Weston’s enormous chords and Washington’s swinging, soulful saxophone and percussion instruments that create a lithe, spiritual jazz groove. No matter how Weston ultimately feels about Blue Moses, this date succeeds on all levels. Creating a commercially viable recording from the elements presented must not have been easy, but Taylor rose to the occasion and delivered a grooving beauty of an album without compromising Weston’s genius.
01 – Ifrane
02 – Ganawa (Blue Moses)
03 – Night In Medina
04 – Marrakesh Blues
Randy Weston – electric piano
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
John Frosk, Alan Rubin, Marvin Stamm – trumpet, flugelhorn
Garnett Brown, Warren Covington – trombone
Wayne Andre – trombone, baritone horn
Paul Faulise – bass trombone
James Buffington, Brooks Tillotson – French horn
Grover Washington, Jr. – tenor saxophone
Hubert Laws – flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo
Romeo Penque – clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn
George Marge – clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass flute, English horn
David Horowitz – synthesizer
Ron Carter, Vishnu Bill Wood – bass
Billy Cobham – drums
Phil Kraus, Airto Moreira, Azzedin Weston – percussion
Madame Meddah – vocals
Produced by Creed Taylor. Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder. Conducted & Arranged by Don Sebesky.
Recorded in March–April 1972 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.