Randy Weston (b. 1926) was among the first pianist-composers of his generation to absorb thoroughly the innovations of Thelonious Monk. Using some of the stylistic hallmarks that invited comparison to Monk--the jabbing dissonances, chord clusters, oblique harmonies, and splintered, never-predictable runs--Weston, as is evident on these, some of his earliest recordings, began establishing himself as a significant newcomer. This set of solos, duos (with bassist Sam Gill), and trios (with Gill and the indispensable drummer Art Blakey) shows the towering (6’7") Brooklynite’s burgeoning gifts as a writer. "Pam’s Waltz" and "Zulu" display that he could write authoritative melodies, both lilting (if unorthodox) and rhythmically intriguing. He’s also an imaginative, sometimes wry interpreter of standard material, and the eight Cole Porter tunes here, cut in 1954, marked Weston’s recording debut. These 18 selections presaged decades of important compositions (including the jazz standards "Hi-Fly," "Little Niles," and "Where"), recordings, and live appearances. Before long, Randy Weston would cast his own imposing musical shadow.