Randy Weston African Cookbook on 180g Import LP from Pure Pleasure
"Africa, the cradle of civilization, is my ancestral home, the home of my spirit and my soul. Africa has always been part of me, and I knew I'd have to go there sooner or later. In 1961 I finally did and again in 1963, both times to Nigeria. Then my sextet and I toured fourteen countries in West and North Africa in 1967, and in 1968 I went back to stay; I've been living in Tangier, Morocco ever since.
"For me, the most compelling aspect of African culture, North, South, East and West, is its music, magnificent in its diversity, with the "true drums" - African rhythms - always at heart. The music of no other civilization can rival that of Africa in the complexity and subtlety of its rhythms. All modern music, no matter what it's called - jazz, gospel, Latin, rock, bossa nova, calypso, samba, soul, the blues, even the "freedom" music of the avant-garde - is in debt to Africa rhythms
"The album, especially the composition African Cookbook, is in very heavy debt; to Africa. The melody evokes North Africa and the rhythms come from all over Africa. I knew the rhythms were African, of course, but I didn't realize how universally African they were until the 1967 tour when Africans in nearly every I country we visited claimed the rhythms in Cookbook as their own, as typical of Ghana or Gabon or Upper Volta or Morocco or wherever. That's pretty heavy!
"This band (except for Sir Harold) - this family - worked together for about three years, and we made this record just before we disbanded. We all grew together in those years of sharing soul and beauty and struggling, we learned from each other and inspired each other, and part of that precious experience is here." - Randy Weston
Randy Weston (piano)
Ray Copeland (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Vishnu Wood (bass)
Lenny McBrowne (drums)
Big Black (congas)
Sir Harold Murray (percussion)