Shop Sounds: Yusef Lateef
"When the soul looks out of its body, it should see only beauty in its path. These are the sights we must hold in mind, in order to move to a higher place." - Yusef Lateef
This Shop Sounds, we're visitng the ever refreshing Yusef Lateef. Jazz is typically a hate it or love it genre, especially nowadays, but as Roy Hargrove put it- Jazz is like the great-grandfather of Hip-Hop. When you look at it that way, if you're a real Hip-Hop head, you do yourself a real injustice if you never attempt to refine or stretch your musical palette. When I hear Yusef's "Love Theme From Spartacus" it's what I imagine a summer day riding camel back through the sands of Morrocco on your way to sip green tea with the natives would feel like. Yo, as a matter of fact, I'm putting that on my bucket list.
My favorite song by one of my favorite jazz artists.
Peter Keepnews, in his New York Times obituary of Lateef, wrote that Yusef Lateef "played world music before world music had a name." He was skilled in playing tenor sax, flute, oboe, basoon, and was innovative in incorporating the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul, and koto.
The amazing thing about Yusef Lateef was that although he accomplished much as a musician, he was also an author. He wrote and published a number of books - A Night in the Garden of Love and Another Avenue, the short story collections Spheres and Rain Shapes, also his autobiography, The Gentle Giant, written in collaboration with Herb Boyd. Do your research on the man, he's one of the greats.