175

Yusek Lateef/Adam Rudolph: Beyond The Sky

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Like many a jazz listener, I roll my eyes and flip radio stations when the announcer calls out the next tune as ‘world music.’ I do this because what every jazz fan knows is all music is world music, and jazz is the ultimate synthesis of the world’s music. Many of today’s ‘world music’ artists are as original/creative as those $20 Rolex watches sold downtown. The 1970s disease of mediocrity called “fusion” plagues them. This infection allowed for the rise electric music and the decline of musicianship.

Thankfully along came musicians like Sun Ra, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Kahil El’Zabar, percussionist Adam Rudolph, and Yusef Lateef. All these artists kept the music real, while advancing the creativity of their own voice. Rudolph, a percussionist and musicologist, has studied extensively Balinese, Cuban, Ghanain, Haitian, Hindustani, and Moroccan traditions. His previous release, Sprits (Meta) with Pharoah Sanders reviewed in the July issue, is a masterpiece of meditative jazz.

He is back again with another master, Dr. Yusef Lateef. Born in Detroit, Lateef played with the likes of Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley before journeying in time and place to study and teach African and Indian music. He in effect continued the spirit of John Coltrane’s journey beyond the North American continent.

Rudolph and Lateef have collaborated on several recordings and numerous performances. This project brings together percussive rhythms of many continents with the meditative elements of sound: blown, strummed, plucked, and created by electronics. Three of the ten tracks were written for a Lincoln Center celebration of sixty-years of Yusef Lateef’s music. But this isn’t just about meditation. Their music is a call to action. African music is mixed with Alex Marcelo’s ever-present piano to keep our reference in the modern. Electronic samples mingle with bird squeaks and voice in as a natural a way as any flow experience. Lateef, a masterful flautist, weaves suggestions of flight, then of a kind of city life. This recording like those by the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, is an amalgamation of music history. Take Lateef’s “Hunger And Tears.” Joseph Bowie’s trombone playing come straight out of his modern music experiences with Sam Rivers next is Lateef’s tenor and Ralph Jones’ Soprano trading calls. All of this is place over the acceleration of Rudolph’s expansive hand drumming and electronic accents. There is alot to like from a creative free perspective, ditto that for a connoisseur of African percussion or mediation music. This music works on so many levels. Many, I believe, beyond conscious levels. How can that be? Dig, like a bootleg of Coltrane’s “Alabama,” you know there are things happening beyond the physical, beyond the sound in the spiritual world.

Track Listing: Beyond The Sky; Origin Of A Mother Tongue; Evanescent Symmetries; Handful Of Gifts; Within Yourself; Three Dreams; Iqbal Remembered; Sun Cup; Hunger And Tears; Beyond The Sky, Part 2.

Personnel: Yusef Lateef

| Record Label: Meta Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.