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by Chris May
A pioneer of global and modal jazz, the multi-instrumentalist and composer Yusef Lateef is only beginning to have his importance in the history of the music properly acknowledged. After languishing off-catalogue for decades, much of his output is being made available once more. A treasure trove of great jazz is out there waiting to be rediscovered. Lateef was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When he was five, his family moved to jny: Detroit, where he began his career playing ...read more
by Chris May
The soul-jazz albums Yusef Lateef recorded for Atlantic between 1967 and 1976, of which The Doctor Is In...And Out is the tenth and final release, may prove to be among his most enduring releases. That suggestion will not chime with the sentiments of many of Lateef's longtime fans, who who dismiss the Atlantics as sell-outs and rate Lateef most highly for the hard bop / modal albums he released on Savoy, Riverside, Prestige and Impulse! before signing with Atlantic. But ...read more
by John Wesley Reed Jr.
Yusef Lateef defined music far from Western concepts while presenting cross-cultural fusions. His life was committed as a premier jazz saxophonist, flutist, and many woodwinds entering crossing musical boundaries. This journey ended on Monday, December 23, 2013 at his home in Shutesbury, Amherst, Massachusetts. Dr. Lateef was 93 years old. Dr. Lateef's distinctive sound came from a tenor saxophone, mystified with a big tone with blues indications. His style separated similar saxophonists during the 1940s. Playing in the ...read more
by Chris M. Slawecki
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 ...read more
by Scott Krane
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 ...read more
by John Sharpe
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 ...read more
by Alan Bryson
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 ...read more