YUSEF LATEEF

Post Bop / Hard Bop / Avant-Garde Jazz / World Fusion / Third Stream / RnB / Blues / Pop/Art Song/Folk • United States
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Yusef Lateef long had an inquisitive spirit and he was never just a bop or hard bop soloist. Lateef, who did not care much for the term "jazz," consistently created music that stretched (and even broke through) boundaries. A superior tenor saxophonist with a soulful sound and impressive technique, by the 1950s Lateef was one of the top flutists around. He also developed into the best jazz soloist to date on oboe, was an occasional bassoonist, and introduced such instruments as the argol (a double clarinet that resembles a bassoon), shanai (a type of oboe), and different types of flutes. Lateef played "world music" before it had a name and his output was much more creative than much of the pop and folk music that passed under that label in the '90s.

Yusef Lateef grew up in Detroit and began on tenor when he was 17. He played with Lucky Millinder
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Eight Classic AlbumsEight Classic Albums
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Enlightenment 2015
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YUSEF LATEEF Discography

YUSEF LATEEF albums / top albums

YUSEF LATEEF Before Dawn: The Music Of Yusef Lateef album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Before Dawn: The Music Of Yusef Lateef
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF The Sounds of Yusef album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sounds of Yusef
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Jazz Mood (aka Blues In Space ) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Mood (aka Blues In Space )
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Jazz for the Thinker album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz for the Thinker
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Stable Mates album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stable Mates
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Prayer to the East album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Prayer to the East
Post Bop 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Jazz and the Sounds of Nature album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz and the Sounds of Nature
Hard Bop 1958
YUSEF LATEEF Other Sounds (aka Expression!) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Other Sounds (aka Expression!)
Post Bop 1959
YUSEF LATEEF The Dreamer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dreamer
Post Bop 1959
YUSEF LATEEF The Fabric of Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Fabric of Jazz
Post Bop 1959
YUSEF LATEEF The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef (aka This Is Yusef Lateef) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef (aka This Is Yusef Lateef)
Post Bop 1960
YUSEF LATEEF Cry! - Tender album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Cry! - Tender
Post Bop 1960
YUSEF LATEEF The Centaur and the Phoenix album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
The Centaur and the Phoenix
Post Bop 1960
YUSEF LATEEF Into Something album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Into Something
Post Bop 1961
YUSEF LATEEF Eastern Sounds album cover 4.29 | 14 ratings
Eastern Sounds
Post Bop 1961
YUSEF LATEEF Lost In Sound (aka Outside Blues) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lost In Sound (aka Outside Blues)
Hard Bop 1962
YUSEF LATEEF Jazz 'Round the World album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Jazz 'Round the World
Post Bop 1964
YUSEF LATEEF Psychicemotus album cover 3.25 | 5 ratings
Psychicemotus
Post Bop 1965
YUSEF LATEEF 1984 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
1984
Post Bop 1965
YUSEF LATEEF A Flat, G Flat and C album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
A Flat, G Flat and C
Post Bop 1966
YUSEF LATEEF The Golden Flute album cover 3.57 | 5 ratings
The Golden Flute
Hard Bop 1966
YUSEF LATEEF The Blue Yusef Lateef album cover 3.19 | 4 ratings
The Blue Yusef Lateef
Blues 1968
YUSEF LATEEF The Complete Yusef Lateef album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Yusef Lateef
Post Bop 1968
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef's Detroit Latitude 42° 30' Longitude 83° album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Yusef Lateef's Detroit Latitude 42° 30' Longitude 83°
Post Bop 1969
YUSEF LATEEF The Diverse Yusef Lateef album cover 3.11 | 3 ratings
The Diverse Yusef Lateef
Post Bop 1970
YUSEF LATEEF Suite 16 album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Suite 16
Post Bop 1970
YUSEF LATEEF The Gentle Giant album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Gentle Giant
Post Bop 1972
YUSEF LATEEF Hush 'n' Thunder album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Hush 'n' Thunder
RnB 1973
YUSEF LATEEF Part of the Search album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Part of the Search
Post Bop 1974
YUSEF LATEEF The Doctor Is In ...And Out album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Doctor Is In ...And Out
Post Bop 1976
YUSEF LATEEF Autophysiopsychic album cover 3.23 | 4 ratings
Autophysiopsychic
RnB 1977
YUSEF LATEEF In a Temple Garden album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
In a Temple Garden
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1979
YUSEF LATEEF In Nigeria album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Nigeria
World Fusion 1985
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony
Post Bop 1987
YUSEF LATEEF Concerto for Yusef Lateef album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Concerto for Yusef Lateef
Third Stream 1988
YUSEF LATEEF Nocturnes album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Nocturnes
Post Bop 1989
YUSEF LATEEF Meditations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meditations
Hard Bop 1990
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef's Encounters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef's Encounters
Post Bop 1991
YUSEF LATEEF Heart Vision album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heart Vision
Post Bop 1992
YUSEF LATEEF Concerto for Woodwinds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Concerto for Woodwinds
Post Bop 1992
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef Plays Ballads album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef Plays Ballads
Hard Bop 1992
YUSEF LATEEF Tenors Of Yusef Lateef And Archie Shepp album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tenors Of Yusef Lateef And Archie Shepp
Post Bop 1992
YUSEF LATEEF Tenors Of Yusef Lateef And Von Freeman album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tenors Of Yusef Lateef And Von Freeman
Post Bop 1992
YUSEF LATEEF Metamorphosis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metamorphosis
Hard Bop 1993
YUSEF LATEEF Tenors [featuring Rene McLean] album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tenors [featuring Rene McLean]
Third Stream 1993
YUSEF LATEEF Claiming Open Spaces (OST) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Claiming Open Spaces (OST)
Third Stream 1994
YUSEF LATEEF Suite Life album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Suite Life
Hard Bop 1994
YUSEF LATEEF African-American Epic Suite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
African-American Epic Suite
Post Bop 1994
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef & Ricky Ford ‎: Tenors Of album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef & Ricky Ford ‎: Tenors Of
Post Bop 1996
YUSEF LATEEF Fantasia for Flute album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fantasia for Flute
Post Bop 1996
YUSEF LATEEF Full Circle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Full Circle
Post Bop 1996
YUSEF LATEEF Chnops - Gold & Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chnops - Gold & Soul
Post Bop 1997
YUSEF LATEEF Earth & Sky album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Earth & Sky
Post Bop 1997
YUSEF LATEEF 9 Bagatelles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
9 Bagatelles
Post Bop 1998
YUSEF LATEEF Cantata album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cantata
Post Bop 1998
YUSEF LATEEF Like the Dust album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Like the Dust
Post Bop 1998
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph ‎: Live In Seattle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph ‎: Live In Seattle
Post Bop 1999
YUSEF LATEEF Beyond The Sky (with Adam Rudolph) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beyond The Sky (with Adam Rudolph)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
YUSEF LATEEF A Gift album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Gift
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
YUSEF LATEEF Earriptus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Earriptus
Post Bop 2001
YUSEF LATEEF So Peace album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
So Peace
Post Bop 2002
YUSEF LATEEF The Universal Quartet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Universal Quartet
World Fusion 2009
YUSEF LATEEF I’m Grateful album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I’m Grateful
Post Bop 2010
YUSEF LATEEF Towards The Unknown (with Adam Rudolph) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Towards The Unknown (with Adam Rudolph)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
YUSEF LATEEF Roots Run Deep album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roots Run Deep
Blues 2012

YUSEF LATEEF EPs & splits

YUSEF LATEEF live albums

YUSEF LATEEF Yusef Lateef at Cranbrook (aka Yusef Lateef) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef Lateef at Cranbrook (aka Yusef Lateef)
Post Bop 1958
YUSEF LATEEF Live at Pep's album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Live at Pep's
Hard Bop 1965
YUSEF LATEEF 10 Years Hence: Recorded Live At Keystone Korner, San Francisco album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
10 Years Hence: Recorded Live At Keystone Korner, San Francisco
Post Bop 1975
YUSEF LATEEF Club Date album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Club Date
Post Bop 1976
YUSEF LATEEF The Live Session album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Live Session
Post Bop 1978
YUSEF LATEEF Hikima - Creativity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hikima - Creativity
World Fusion 1983
YUSEF LATEEF The World At Peace, Music For 12 Musicians (with Adam Rudolph) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The World At Peace, Music For 12 Musicians (with Adam Rudolph)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
YUSEF LATEEF Live at the 20th Montreux Detroit Festival album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the 20th Montreux Detroit Festival
Post Bop 1999
YUSEF LATEEF Live at Pep's Volume Two album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live at Pep's Volume Two
Post Bop 1999
YUSEF LATEEF Live at the Luckman Theater album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Luckman Theater
Post Bop 2001
YUSEF LATEEF Live in London album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in London
Post Bop 2004
YUSEF LATEEF At the Bottom Line album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At the Bottom Line
Post Bop 2007
YUSEF LATEEF Voice Prints album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Voice Prints
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
YUSEF LATEEF Live at Ronnie Scott's album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Ronnie Scott's
Post Bop 2016

YUSEF LATEEF demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

YUSEF LATEEF re-issues & compilations

YUSEF LATEEF Gong album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gong
Soul Jazz 1957
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef! (with Donald Byrd) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Yusef! (with Donald Byrd)
Hard Bop 1965
YUSEF LATEEF Imagination! (with Doug Watkins) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Imagination! (with Doug Watkins)
Post Bop 1970
YUSEF LATEEF Contemplation album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Contemplation
Post Bop 1974
YUSEF LATEEF Angel Eyes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Angel Eyes
Post Bop 1979
YUSEF LATEEF The Diverse Yusef Lateef/Suite 16 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Diverse Yusef Lateef/Suite 16
Post Bop 1994
YUSEF LATEEF The Man With the Big Front Yard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man With the Big Front Yard
Post Bop 1998
YUSEF LATEEF The Last Savoy Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Savoy Sessions
Post Bop 2000
YUSEF LATEEF Beautiful Flowers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beautiful Flowers
Post Bop 2005
YUSEF LATEEF Yusef's Mood: Complete 1957 Sessions with Hugh Lawson album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yusef's Mood: Complete 1957 Sessions with Hugh Lawson
Post Bop 2008
YUSEF LATEEF The Complete Recordings 1957-1959 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Recordings 1957-1959
Post Bop 2015
YUSEF LATEEF The Dreamer + The Fabric of Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dreamer + The Fabric of Jazz
Post Bop 2015
YUSEF LATEEF The Complete Recordings 1959-1962 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Recordings 1959-1962
Post Bop 2015

YUSEF LATEEF singles (0)

YUSEF LATEEF movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

YUSEF LATEEF Reviews

YUSEF LATEEF The Golden Flute

Album · 1966 · Hard Bop
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Sean Trane
I believe this is Yusef’s last album for the Impulse label, and he’s in a quartet formation with Lawson on piano, Wright on bass and Brooks on drums. The album features a bunch of covers of standards, which IMHO don’t exactly fit with the Impulse “New Thing” image – so allow me to take the “!” away from this review.

Opening with Road Runner (written by Yusef about life on the road), Lawson’s piano and Lateef’s sax bounce over each other to make it vibrant. The following Straighten up is a reprise of Nat Cole, and it will be joined a little later by Lester Young’s slow ballad Ghost Of A Chance and a bit later Exactly Like You (with a rare oboe). The album’s title only starts to fulfil its promise with the Yusef-penned Oasis, which features the flute and a light and slightly mysterious eastern (Arabian) ambiance.

The flipside opens on the promising Yusef-penned Golden Flute, built on a JS Bach inspiration, where the flute returns with a haunting mysterious aura. Lawson’s Head Hunters is a brilliant piano-dominated piece and the closing 7-mins+ Brooks-penned Smart Set is an outstanding modal piece with all members cruising along, just interrupted by a short drum solo, only to return to its haunting pace.

Unfortunately, while the album contains a few magic pieces, it’s rather clear that most (if not all) 60’s jazz label still didn’t know how to build an Album (yes, with a big “A”). This writer kind of wishes that all the covers of this album would’ve been grouped on one side; while the quartet’s original composition (much more interesting – and not just IMHO, I believe) would’ve made the flipside. Oh, yeah: this album’s major flaw is that it doesn’t feature enough of the instruments it draws attention to: two tracks only, even if they’re the best two of this slice of wax, it’s a little too few for my tastes.

YUSEF LATEEF Psychicemotus

Album · 1965 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
Between Yusef’s better known Prestige label era (where he recorded his most famous Eastern Sounds) era and his next Atlantic label days, Lateef spend a couple of years on the seminal Impulse label, and the present Psychicemotus is (I believe) his second last for the orange house. Released in 66, the album was recorded in the summer of 65 with the inevitable Reggie Workman on bass and more importantly Franco-Greek pianist Georges Arvanitas

The opening title track is a very interesting modal piece that can recall Trane’s Africa/Brass album with some Sun Ra-like percussions that give it a slightly dissonant flavour courtesy of Arvanitas’ piano. Bamboo Flute is (as you’ll guess) a slow blues with a bamboo flute. Logical enough, uh?? Semiocto is definitely more Trane-ian, and has Yusef going wild on his sax, while dummer Black solos briefly.

On the flipside, the jazzified Satie piece Gymnopédie features some quiet flute over gentle piano. The following Medula Sonata sounds like Yusef also listened to Debussy or Sibelius. Arvanitas’ piano dominates the closing reprise Ain’t Misbehaving.

While the present album has excellent moments, compared to what else was going on the Impulse label, Yusef’s album might not merit the “!’ on the label logo on the front sleeve. Indeed, the “New Thing” appears only as a “thingette”.

YUSEF LATEEF The Blue Yusef Lateef

Album · 1968 · Blues
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Sean Trane
Yusef’s generally most acknowledged second half of the 60’s album, The Blue Yusef, indeed the album has some credential at being among his better works in a very prolific career, though some jazz purists would probably beg to differ. As you’ll guess by the title, the album features much blues, a good deal of it being 12 bars, and a rarer 16 bars one, which sounds more mysterious. This could Ysef’s first album for Ahmet Ertegun’s Attlantic label (coming after from his impulse period), as well.

Opening on the bluesy Juba, Yusef brings immediate depth by mixing harmonica (courtesy of Buddy Lucas) and highly evocative from The Sweet Inspirations. The following 8-mins Like It Is has a highly haunting melody, first opening on an enchanted flute, then segueing in a delightful sax, then the underlying Lawson piano unleashes and a string quartet concludes in a masterful way. The exotic sounding (I’d say far-east, mixed with south-eastern Asia roots) Moon Cup is based on Phrygian scales, and it’s probably the least accessible track on the album. Othelia is a rather standard boogie blues with little interest, unlike the train-like rhythms of Back Home, where the harmonica returns, along some demented sax and percussions. Get Over and the rest of the flipside are different versions of blues. Not really YL’s most representative album, but the first and third tracks are among my faves of his.

YUSEF LATEEF Hush 'n' Thunder

Album · 1973 · RnB
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Sean Trane
This HnT release might seem somewhat of an oddball to YL fans, maybe because most of the tracks are attributed to pianist Kenny Barron, who happens to be all over it. Recorded at Atlantic’s studio in 72, the album is fairly representative of those days’ 60’s jazz artistes trying to find their way through a changed music landscapes where they had lost their spot.

Opening with Duke’s Come Sunday with only Yusef’s flute and a cello, the album veers fusiony with the following funky The Hump that prefigures the later-70’s jazz-funk - and YL’s own APP release four years later. The two-parts 8-mins Opus is much more of a pure fusion piece, despite opening very softly, but Barron’s Rhodes and Yusef’s flute, both underlined by a lovely cello, are pure bliss; the second movement slowly gains momentum and we can hear YL’s heavy air intake to blow in the flute, much like what Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson did and included it in his music. Closing the A-side is a weird semi-gospel and NO jazz This Old Building piece that opens on construction machine noises. Definitely out of context, if you ask me.

The flipside opens on the funky Prayer that features the shannai (that’s an Indian wind instrument that looks like a kazoo – its spelling varies) and a pneumatic flute (wtf is that?? ;-), but we’re again dealing in the region of The Hump. The almost 8-mins Sunset is dissonant and could be compared to Mwandishi’s calmer moments. The Sparrow cover piece is a return to the gospel thing, and personally, I find it insufferably long and overstaying its welcome by the third of its duration (gospel is really not the thing of this atheist). The closing Destination Paradise is an atmospheric piece that relates well with the Opus and Sunset fusion pieces.

I’m not sure I would define this album as post-bop, because it’s an extremely varied affair, ranging from gospel-soul to pure fusion. I personally fully endorse its adventurous fusion part and to an extent its funk extension, but personally can’t stand the gospel part, which I not only find intrusive, but ruining the album’s cohesiveness.

YUSEF LATEEF Autophysiopsychic

Album · 1977 · RnB
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Sean Trane
By the later half of the 70’s, most 50’s and 60’s jazz artistes that wanted to survive had to go commercial and do albums that were into soul-jazz or jazz-funk, and one had to wonder how willingly they did so. Certainly YL’s APP was a border case, despite Yusef writing four of the five tracks on the present album, the last one being by producer Matthews – probably an arrangement between him and YL, because of the heavy arrangements on that track and others on the album. This could’ve also been a CTI album (actually it is one, but via the Epic label), as it was produced by Creed Taylor and Eric Gale plays guitar, but don’t expect the soft jazz fusion of the earlier CTI albums: we’re rather dealing with a solid funk album, but the main solo instrument is Art Farmer’s flugelhorn - he gets a special mention on the album’s sleeve. This writer is not particularly familiar with the other musicians on the album, but one would assume that they’re pure funk people: certain bassist Gary King and drummer Madison (the CD booklet surprisingly also mentions Steve Gadd) sound like it’s their main background.

Recorded at Hendrix’ old studio Electric Lady in October 77, the album is definitely more of a funk album with slight jazz overtones - mostly the wind instruments (Yussef’s sax and flute and Farmer’s horns) - and there are plenty of vocals (mainly Yussef’s, apparently. To be honest, while this album may attract your curiosity through a promise of adventurous musical escapades, I find it very repetitive (and weak in terms of lyrics) and relatively shallow; but then again leter-70’s funk albums with an eye onto the disco scene tend to be that way. Does this mean that this is a bad album? Most likely, this is an excellent pure funk album, but if you’re expecting the usual YL albums, you could be in for a solid disappointment. The relatively lengthy songs are just straightforward funk with little deviance from the groove installed and boring lyrics repeated endlessly (“say in touch with your mind” ) and only the (very good) quality of the wind instrument solos to really present interest. Only the YL song present more interest (IMHO, of course) with its slightly different sonics (the arrangements), but even then, it remains very funky.

The album’s title is reminiscent of his Psychicemotus he’d recorded for the Impulse label back in 65, but there aren’t any sonic links between the two. Given YL’s prolific discography and the wide sonic variety he indulged in, this APP release might just be one of his most WTF release, and you might want to approach it carefully, despite the luscious 70’s sounds and production values. Clearly looking for a direction he would feel comfortable with, this was to be the second last album he’d release for a few years, the next one coming in the mid-80’s.

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