Yusef Lateef: Playful Flute


Playful Flute


Yusef Lateef (flute)


The Sounds of Yusef (Prestige OJCCD-917-2)

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Yusef Lateef (flute),

Wilbur Harden, Hugh Lawson, Ernie Farrow & Oliver Jackson (percussion)


Composed by Yusef Lateef


Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, October 11, 1957


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

"Mohammedan leanings are shown by many bebop musicians," Life magazine reported in 1948 at the height of a short-lived bop craze. Among the first-generation boppers who embraced Islam during that period was Yusef Lateef. We mention this because, far from being the evidence of kookiness that Life implied, Lateef's spirituality has thoroughly informed his music. Exotic modes and unusual instruments reflect Lateef's unquenchable cross-cultural curiosity. Here, from opening trills to climactic passages of simultaneous humming and playing, Lateef ranges from Africa to the Amazon by way of the Middle East. A fascinating 4-minute excursion by a unique musical explorer.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 Cap'n // Jan 22, 2009 at 10:02 PM
    "Playful Flute" an incredible example of the complexities and intrigue of Yusef's composing & playing abilities!