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Yusef Lateef

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 (1946), Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, and Dizzy Gillespie's big band (1949-1950). He was a fixture on the Detroit jazz scene of the '50s where he studied flute at Wayne State University. Lateef began recording as a leader in 1955 for Savoy (and later Riverside and Prestige) although he did not move to New York until 1959. By then he already had a strong reputation for his versatility and for his willingness to utilize "miscellaneous instruments." Lateef played with Charles Mingus in 1960, gigged with Donald Byrd, and was well-featured with the Cannonball Adderley Sextet (1962-1964). As a leader, his string of Impulse! recordings (1963-1966) was among the finest of his career, although Lateef's varied Atlantic sessions (1967-1976) also had some strong moments. He spent some time in the '80s teaching in Nigeria.

His Atlantic records of the late '80s were closer to mood music (or new age) than jazz, but in the '90s (for his own YAL label) Lateef recorded a wide variety of music (all originals) including some strong improvised music with the likes of Ricky Ford, Archie Shepp, and Von Freeman. Lateef remained active as a composer, improviser, and educator (teaching at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) into the 21st century, performing and recording as a leader and collaborator on such noteworthy recordings as Towards the Unknown with composer/percussionist Adam Rudolph (released in 2010, the same year Lateef was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts). Yusef Lateef died at his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts in December 2013; he was 93 years old. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Last Savoy Sessions

Disc 1

1. Oboe Blues

2. Angel Eyes

3. The Dreamer

4. Arjuna

5. Can't Help Lovin' That Man

6. Moon Tree

7. Stella By Starlight

8. Valse Bouk

9. Half Breed

10. Poor Butterfly

Disc 2

1. 8540 Twelfth Street

2. Check Blues

3. Prayer To The East

4. A Night In Tunisia

5. Lover Man

6. Endura

7. Love Dance

8. Gypsy Arab

9. Sram

x

Track List: The Doctor Is In...And Out

1. The Improvisers

2. Hellbound

3. Mystique

4. Mississippi Mud

5. Mushmouth

6. Technological Homosapien

7. Street Musicians

8. In A Little Spanish Town (Twas On A Night Like This)

x

Track List: The Gentle Giant

1. Nubian Lady

2. Lowland Lullabye

3. Hey Jude

4. Jungle Plum

5. The Poor Fisherman

6. African Song

7. Queen Of The Night

8. Below Yellow Bell

x

Track List: Suite 16

1. Buddy And Lou

2. Down In Atlanta

3. Nocturne

4. When A Man Loves A Woman

5. Michelle

6. Symphonic Blues Suite: 1st movement: Folia

7. Symphonic Blues Suite: 2nd Movement: Minuet

8. Symphonic Blues Suite: 3rd Movement: Blues & Variational Interlude

9. Symphonic Blues Suite: 4th Movement: Passacaglia

10. Symphonic Blues Suite: 5th / 6th Movements: Chorale / Blues

11. Symphonic Blues Suite: 7th movement: Blues, Coda

x

Track List: The Blue Yusef Lateef

1. Juba Juba

2. Like It Is

3. Othelia

4. Moon Cup

5. Back Home

6. Get Over, Get Off And Get On

7. Six Miles Next Door

8. Sun Dog

x

Track List: The Golden Flute

1. Road Runner

2. Straighten Up And Fly Right

3. Oasis

4. (I Dont Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance With You

5. Exactly Like You

6. The Golden Flute

7. Rosetta

8. Head Hunters

9. The Smart Set

x

Track List: Psychicemotus

1. Psychicemotus

2. Bamboo Flute Blues

3. Semiocto

4. Why Do I Love You?

5. First Gymnopedie

6. Medula Sonata

7. I'll Always Be In Love With You

8. Ain't Misbehavin'

x

Track List: Live At Pep's

1. Sister Mamie

2. Number 7

3. Twelve Tone Blues

4. Oscarlypso

5. Gee Sam Gee

6. Rogi

7. See See Ride

8. The Magnolia Triangle

9. The Weaver

10. Slippin' & Slidin'

x

Track List: Into Something

1. Rasheed

2. When You're Smiling

3. Water Pistol

4. You've Changed

5. I'll Remember April

6. Koko's Tune

7. P Bouk

x

Track List: Eastern Sounds

1. The Plum Blossom

2. Blues For The Orient

3. Chinq Miau

4. Don't Blame Me

5. Love Theme From 'Spartacus'

6. Snafu

7. Purple Flower

8. Love Theme From 'The Robe'

9. The Three Faces Of Balal

x

Track List: Cry! -Tender

1. Sea Breeze

2. Dopolous

3. Cry! - Tender

4. Butter's Blues

5. Yesterdays

6. The Snow Is Green

7. If You Could See Me Now

8. Ecaps

x

Track List: Jazz Moods

1. Metaphor

2. Yusef's Mood

3. The Beginning

4. Morning

5. Blues In Space

x

Track List: Live At Ronnie Scott's, 15 January 1966

1. Angel Eyes (Live)

2. Blues For The Orient (Live)

3. Song Of Delilah (Live)

4. Last Night Blues (Live)

5. Yusef's Mood (Live)

x

Track List: Prayer To The East

1. A Night In Tunisia

2. Endura

3. Prayer To The East

4. Love Dance

5. Lover Man

Comments

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paulcampagno l i
A cool dude. Makes me want to hear more. Some real greats came out of Detroit.
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Livingston Playground was the song that introduced me to Yusef - very cool track
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8dpoi8hgopf8 p l l l k l o o f 8oldcloo SD olllop>dog cllfo7
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I love Dr. YL, his music lives on and on.
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paulcampagno l i
Great feeling! Gotta check out more Lateef.
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j.p.l.1
This is what music is all about son
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It does not get any better than this, I don't care who you are.
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YUSEF! YUSEF!! YUSEF LATEEF!! A true master.
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Yusuf Lateef. In all honesty, his heart shines & shows through his music. Yusuf was an original thinker & believer in life, spiritual wealth & internal beauty. His music tells the story that jazz means to include,..." b e l i e v e , listen, learn,...& become greater.
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I miss you, Jeremy Wahl. Gentle Soul.
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ras_mas
Interesting. . . w h a t will be written of the so called black musical artists of today...oh I know... they were experts at nusery rhymes...wit h a quack quack here and a quack over there...well often is more like a pow pow here and a gluck gluck there!!!! the shitstem has certainly stripped us of one of the few areas we could really excell...oh i forgot they really do not need us to sing and play any more because they seem to know how to do it just like we use to... even down to getting down...wow!

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inspired me to learn flute timeless music
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wmilne440
I got turned on to Yusef back in the 70's, check out his song:technol o g i c a l homosapiens, very progressive, a mighty creative person, on another tune it was on a night like this he overdubs his sax playing over the original version, inspiring soul...thank you Yusef!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I got to spend many mornings over many years sippin coffee talking to this gentle soul before I even new he was a musician...T h a n k s Pavel Shepp for fixin that and for Yusef for all those simple talks and beautifull sounds that still fill my days.
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this guy sounds just like Yusef Lateef
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OBOE BLUES rocks real mellow !!!!
Soulful & Bluesy :-)
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poppa_bear49
...one word BLESSED!!
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he did his job on earth, Greatfully, he was given a gift from up high, and he spreaded it to us here he left on earth. I love him, God did too!
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I have always liked this guy, fabulous energy
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I was preveledge to see YL several times including his performance at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco when he was 92. He indeed was a jass master
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He's great!
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Who is on piano on Nubian ...?
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World music ,before it had a name ? Played a myriad of instruments in the family of the sax. I like his work with Cannonball .
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Boys High Brooklyn, Hey out there, what was the school address ? I lived on Gates ave. at Grand ave. 45 years or more ago....
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linksgayaren a
From the Fleetwood why we to jazz
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eerie and lovely sound. It tingles the spirit
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R.I.P YUSEY LETEEF
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spiralgalaxy 3 3
Try The Blue Yusef Lateef on Atlantic, 1968
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Good
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Rest in peace brother,a great musician.
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timeless and unparalled
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r2weq
Like it is
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Summer of '70, first love, Lateef's blues, Greek town, Belle Isle, heading down the Lodge freeway, hashish and philosophy, she tasted of green apples...
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clarence_shi e l d s
Burning Spear.....Nu f f Said!!!!!
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Very soulful beat, to bad I don't have a joint right now. Just kidding
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very smooth brother
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As A fellow Detroiter, my heros as a kid, were Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Yusef Lateef, And Elvin Jones.
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Didn't know Yusef played the flute as well as sax...nice!!
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Yusef is actually my blood relative.... I didn't think he had a radio playlist on here.....
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this man is the greatest musician to come from out of detroiit since mr. walker smith.... the sweetest, mr. sugar ray robinson. love theme from spartucus still makes tears fall from eyes....what ? u aint seen it? may curt douglass pay u a dreeam deffered, an sugar knock yo a** out. chango
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Really cool man. I dig it
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rusimms
I finally found my old favorite "Detroit" and ordered it from Amazon!
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so glad to be in the company of tasteful music lovers. never really dug into yusef but no yime like the present
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srijozus2
I have loved his music for a long time. It's nice to hear it on Pandora radio.
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john43jenkin s
His out of circulation album "At the Cranbrook" is outa sight. Too bad no one recorded it to CD.
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very good ax plyin'
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Used to listen to a vinyl in the 70's called 'Detroit'. Played it to death (literally)
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joy_n_lord
Yusef Lateef was simply a GIANT of JAZZ!!!!!!!
TonyP
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WHAT? no '1984'?????
Report as inappropriate
Try Yusef's, "Sister Mamie" Live@Peps
if you REALLY want to trip!
Show more

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