Melba Liston(5)

June 17.2017

Photo above of Randy Weston with Melba Liston and Freddie Hubbard by courtesy of JazzTimes

At the beginning of the 1960s Melba Liston collaborated with pianist Randy Weston.

Their collaborations produced several notable albums including the critically acclaimed albums Uhuru Afrika (1960) and Highlife (1963).

Randy Weston said about Melba;”Melba is incredible; she hears what I do and then expands it.She will create a melody that sounds like I created it. She’s just a great, great arranger.”

Acutually she was a pioneer in the explicit melding of contemporary African rhythms and intonations with American jazz.

In the 1960s she took on work for other jazz artists such as Milt Jackson and Johnny Griffin.

During the 1970’s, she spent six years in Jamaica on a music education appointment at the University of Jamaica and served as director of popular music studies at the Jamaica Institute of Music.

Unfortunately, her health declined with the first of several strokes in 1986.

Melba Liston passed away in 1999.

In later years, Melba spoke candidly about the extreme difficulties of being a female jazz musician during this era.

However, despite consistent abuse by male musicians, Melba found strength and motivation in her music.

Photo above of Mary Louwilliams and Melba Liston by courtesy of

1960年代初頭、Melba ListonはRandy Westonと音楽活動を開始しました。
Uhuru Afrika(1960), Highlife(1963)
又、Milt Jackson や Johnny Griffinのアルバムに編曲を提供し、録音現場ではオーケストラの指揮も手掛けました。
そしてMelba Listonは1999年に亡くなりました。

Here is Randy Weston with Melba Liston play “Babe’s Blues”.(1958)
Randy Weston(p), Johnny Griffin(ts) Ray Copeland ,Idrees Sulieman(tp),Melba Liston (tb),George Joyner(b),Charlie Persip(ds),Langston Hughes(Liner Notes)

Here is Milt Jackson and Big Brass play “For someone I love”.

Here is Melba Liston’s performance and the commentary of Marian McPartland by Women in Jazz 1981.



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