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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ahmad Jamal & Yusef Lateef: Live At The Olympia

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Ahmad Jamal's live performances have been well represented in his discography over the past sixty years. Yet despite touring the globe, all Jamal's live recordings--with the exception of the DVD concert from Lebanon, Live at Baalbeck (Birdology, 2003)--document North American and European gigs. France has always accorded the Pittsburgh pianist a royal welcome, naming him an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007;the regard is mutual, as Live at the Olympia is Jamal's fourth live recording in the French capital since 1992. Recorded in June 2012, this double CD set captures the entire concert, with iconic multi-instrumentalist ...

INTERVIEWS

Yusef Lateef's Secret Garden

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This interview was originally published in February 2000. Yusef Lateef will tell you--politely, firmly, insistently, frequently--that he does not play jazz. He was born Bill Evans in Chattanooga (TN), but grew up in Detroit a tenor saxophone student who in the 1940s worked and studied alongside the likes of Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Hot Lips Page. In the 1950s, he studied composition and flute at Wayne State University; shortly thereafter he assumed the name Yusef Lateef and began recording as a leader. Lateef kept working with important jazz musicians, such as Kenny Burrell, Curtis Fuller, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: Celebrating 75 Years of Music at Roulette in Brooklyn

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Rarely in the history of contemporary American music has one artist iconized as many aspects of organized sound as Yusef Lateef who appeared in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night, April 6, at the new Brooklyn version of the Manhattan performance space, Roulette, near the new Barclay's Arena. In a two-hour performance billed, “Yusef Lateef: Celebrating 75 years of music," the 92-year-old remnant of modern jazz displayed the breadth of his musical imagination in a four-part concert.The Grammy Award-winning musician began recording on Impulse Records in the first half of the '60s, and Savoy Records in the decade before. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yusef Lateef: Roots Run Deep

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Roots Run Deep forms a further installment in the ongoing strand of investigation into the marriage of words and music, which has found a home on the Paris-based Rogue Art label, that also includes Maison Hantee (2009). It's unusual in that though issued under the name of veteran multi instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, the work was actually conceived by filmmaker Nicolas Humbert and engineer Marc Parisotto. The two Frenchmen are credited with composition; having assembled the 34-minute program by matching the American's separately captured instrumental improvisations to recitations of his idiosyncratic stories.Humbert was in part responsible for the 2005 ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds Turns 50

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Think back fifty years to the days portrayed on the TV series Mad Men. In 1961, John Kennedy and Billboard's Easy Listening Chart were inaugurated, a freedom riders bus was fire-bombed in Alabama, Rock Hudson was on the big screen, and Doris Day was selling albums. As teenagers and their swinging parents were twisting their brains out to Chubby Checker or the “authentic music by the King Curtis Combo," East German communists began construction of the Berlin Wall, the Beach Boys formed in California, and The Beatles performed, for the first time, at the Cavern Club in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yusef Lateef: Ten Years Hence

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This 2008 release of a live 1975 performance at San Francisco's Keystone Korner may appeal to Lateef completists, but those still new to him or curious about his fame might consider starting elsewhere.The first of Ten Years Hence's five long numbers is Bob Cunningham's three-part “Samba De Amor," which begins with the bassist bowing and plucking alongside the sound of cowbells, horns, whoops and other vocalizations, and Lateef on transverse flute. Fully five minutes on, a light but entertaining enough samba takes shape. The quiet middle section, “Time Montage," provides a puzzling pause with woodwinds and bells, although ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Belmondo / Yusef Lateef: Influence

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Every work of art is part form, part substance and part emotion. The double CD Influence, by Yusef Lateef and the Belmondo brothers, has the beauty of form of an impressionist canvas, the depth and the complexity of a mathematical equation, but the emotional sterility of a doctor's office.

The music is a blend of complex and precise improvisations and melodies from around the world, including 19th Century Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, all peppered with a jazz sensibility. The three multi-instrumentalist virtuosos in the front line forge their individual voices into a sound sculpture without ...



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