The early Randy Weston performances on this two-Lp set have not yet resurfaced on CD. Pianist Weston is heard on two duets with bassist Sam Gill from his very first session ("In The Still Of The Night" and "What Is This Thing Called Love"), six selections from a 1955 date with Gill and drummer Art Blakey, four piano solos from 1956 and an entire quartet session with baritonist Cecil Payne, bassist Ahmed-Abdul Malik and drummer Wilbert Hogan. Even at that early stage, Weston sounds quite recognizable (he was 28-30 years old during these sessions), bringing his own original and often-percussive interpretations to a variety of standards plus four originals. One of the highlights is the original version of his "Little Niles." This twofer is worth searching for, at least until these enjoyable and somewhat historic dates are reissued. ~ Scott Yanow
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- Niles Littlebig (Randy Weston African Rhythms Tr)