335

Yusef Lateef: The Golden Flute

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Yusef Lateef: The Golden Flute 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 showcases Lateef’s ability to sustain a warm groove through a well-designed program of originals and standards.

“Road Runner” is a slow, funky tune with gutsy improvising that segues into a slow, beautiful treatment of “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” a sultry ballad infused with melancholy beauty. Yet what would be a relatively straightforward session is augmented by Lateef’s interest in using other instruments to create new textures. Despite the title, there are only two tracks featuring Lateef on flute, but both show his interest in foreign scales and how they can enhance the palette available for improvisation in a consistent way. On “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You” the thin, reedy sound of Lateef’s oboe introduces a eerie quality into a straightforward standard. However, the cherry on top is “Head Hunters,” where Lateef sits out and the rhythm section works through a tune you’ll have in your head long after the recording is over.

In the end, Lateef proves himself on The Golden Flute to be an artist of merit, capable of creating a haunting session worthy of comparison to Wayne Shorter’s Blue Note recordings. This is an excellent opportunity to discover an artist whose work as a leader is well worth a listen.

Visit Impulse! on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Road Runner 2. Straighten Up and Fly Right 3. Oasis 4. I Don

Personnel: Yusef Lateef

Title: The Golden Flute | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Impulse!


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Cross My Palm With Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.