Friday, December 27, 2013

Yusef Lateef, 1920 - 2013

Early in the week (December 23, 2013), legendary jazz saxophonist and flutist Yusef Lateef sadly passed away at the age of 93. Mr. Lateef played a major role in incorporating non-Western musical elements from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa into jazz. Of deep Islamic faith, much of his recordings like "Love Theme from Spartacus", "Like It Is", "Sister Mamie", and "The Plum Blossom" have very spiritual tone and feel, while other tracks like "Eastern Market", "Brother", "Jungle Plum", and "Live Humble" embraced the soulful roots of his hometown of Detroit, MI. He began recording as a leader in the late 50s for Savoy Records before moving on and recording with other notable labels like Impluse!, Atlantic, Prestige, Riverside and more. He also made a number of contributions to other artist's recordings like Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Art Blakey, Paul Chambers, Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd and many others. Lateef's sound, and how he was able to blend Eastern elements into his music, became a major source of inspiration on other jazz musicians, most notably John Coltrane, Randy Weston, and others. He received the NEA Jazz Master lifetime achievement award in 2010, which is considered the highest honor given in jazz today. Overall, Yusef Lateef is a great among jazz greats, opening the doors for Eastern and African influences to be incorporated and play a strong role in the music that today's younger generations of musicians now compose throughout the world. He will forever be missed however his powerful spirit will forever live on through his music and those lives that he touched.

Rest in peace, Yusef Lateef.

Yusef Lateef - Like It Is

1 comment:

deep structure said...

hey man this blog is amazing please don't stop now! we whant moreee :)

Post a Comment