Weston has an international following, and even if his kind of music is not as popular in this country as it should be, he has had the backing of a major recording label, Verve, something many jazz musicians lacked. In the 1990s he used it to good advantage, releasing a series of adventurous large-group recordings in arrangements by Liston. Not content to mine his brand of American-African fusion, he went farther and incorporated Chinese musical elements on his 1998 release Khepera.
It is impossible to tour with such large numbers of musicians, and for the last few years Weston has been performing in a trio with bassist Alex Blake and percussionist Neil Clarke. The trio setting is ideal for Weston's music, and over the years these musicians have developed a marvelous rapport. They are at the Bird of Paradise on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, as part of the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival.
[Originally published in September, 2003.]