Through his publishing company, Fana Music, Yusef Abdul Lateef contributed extensively to the glossary of performance and improvisational methodology with such works as "Yusef Lateef's Flute Book of the Blues," "A Repository of Melodic Scales and Patterns," and "123 Duets for Treble Clef Instruments."
Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef, 93, of Shutesbury, passed away Monday, December 23, 2013, in the late morning. He passed peacefully at home survived by loved ones, his wife, Ayesha; a son, Yusef; a granddaughter, Iqbal; and several great-grandchildren. His first wife, Tahira, died before him, as did a son and a daughter.
A viewing was held Thursday, December 26, from 3 to 5:15 p.m. with Janaza prayers at 5:15 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Home, 87 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, Massachusetts.
His autobiography, The Gentle Giant, by Herb Boyd, aptly describes his patient, soft-spoken demeanor and compassionate heart.
References Lateef, Yusef; Boyd, Herb. The Gentle Giant. Morton Books, Inc.: New Jersey. January 2006. Print. Keepnews, Peter. "Yusef Lateef, Innovative Jazz Musician, and Is Dead at 93." New York Times. 25 December 2013. New York Edition, page A21. Print. YusefLateef.com. Web. 26 December 2013.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.