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ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: The Doctor Is In ...And Out

Read "The Doctor Is In ...And Out" reviewed 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 ...

PROFILES

In Memoriam: Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef

Read "In Memoriam: Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef" reviewed 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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Yusef Lateef's Secret Garden

Read "Yusef Lateef's Secret Garden" reviewed 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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Yusef Lateef: Celebrating 75 Years of Music at Roulette in Brooklyn" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: Roots Run Deep

Read "Roots Run Deep" reviewed 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 ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds Turns 50

Read "Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds Turns 50" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: Ten Years Hence

Read "Ten Years Hence" reviewed by Bert Bailey

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds

Read "Eastern Sounds" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Eastern Sounds, newly remastered by Rudy van Gelder (the storied engineer who recorded the original September 1961 session), marks an early stage in Yusef Lateef's development. In particular, the record highlights two characteristics that would come to define his artistic identity: a spiritual streak and a fascination with non-Western music. Like John Coltrane (whose path resembles Lateef's in these respects) on “My Favorite Things," Lateef here frequently incorporates “Eastern sounds" in the form of modal vamps.This musical cross-pollination ...

PROFILES

Yusef Lateef: Roots & Routes

Read "Yusef Lateef: Roots & Routes" reviewed by Tom Greenland

Yusef Lateef is one of the first practitioners of “our music" to embrace “the other", those peoples and cultures far removed geographically and often ideologically from the sounds and sensibilities of North America. A renaissance man for the new millennium, Lateef is a philosopher, organologist, composer/arranger/performer, educator, author and acoustic Argonaut. He'll be in town in January for “Detroit: Motor City Jazz" at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a concert series featuring fellow Detroit alumni Charles McPherson, Ron Carter, Marcus Belgrave ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: Psychicemotus

Read "Psychicemotus" reviewed by Norman Weinstein

This is a welcome reissue of one of a series of fine Impulse! albums by multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef that have never taken their deserved place among the major recordings of the '60s. I suspect part of the reason for their neglect has to do with the image, helped by both the Impulse!, and later Atlantic labels, in portraying Lateef as a purveyor of hopelessly arcane musical exotica. The weird title of this album doesn't help any more than the 2005 ...

Yusef Lateef: Jazz 'Round the World

Read "Yusef Lateef: Jazz 'Round the World" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Yusef Lateef Jazz 'Round the World Impulse! 1963With a recent article in JazzTimes covering the history of Impulse Records and the role that prime mover John Coltrane made in securing the label's place in history, it occurred to me that there are still holes in the catalog's reissue program. Aside from Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders, both heavily caught up in Coltrane's trajectory, multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef was a vital member of the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yusef Lateef: The Golden Flute

Read "The Golden Flute" reviewed by David Rickert

It’s a shame that Yusef Lateef is relegated to the second tier of jazz musicians, left as an artist who is known more for his work as a sideman. His abilities as a multi-instrumentalist place him a category with Roland Kirk, yet with none of the acclaim. It’s true that on his Atlantic releases Lateef was saddled with inferior material, but his earlier recordings are adventurous, melodic, and quite satisfying. The Golden Flute is a marvelous recording from 1966 that ...


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