24 May 2008
YUSEF LATEEF - LATEEF AT CRANBROOK
Yusef Lateef for Argo from 1958.
While we all get carried away with the spiritual jazz theme which has been a unifying thread in blogland of late let's not forget the Detroit originator who has burned a trail in exotic,modal and spiritual jazz from the 50s right up to the present day-the mighty Yusef Lateef.
All three of these themes are represented on this live date recorded at Cranbrook University in 1958 moving from the spiritual "Let Every Soul Say Amen"the modal "Morning"the exotic "Brazil"and the 15 minute hard bop/afro cuban workout of Gillespie's "Woody n You" which at 8 minutes moves into a Blakey styled rhythmic mash up with Lateef speaking in tongues over a furious percussion break towards the finish.A truly righteous lp, and one of the first powerful flowerings of the Detroit underground.
Here's what Time had to say about it upon release in 1959:
Lateef at Cranbrook (Yusef Lateef, tenor sax; Frank Morelli, baritone sax; Terry Pollard, piano; William Austin, bass; Frank Gant, drums; Argo). A quintet given to spicing the group sound with finger cymbals, a one-stringed rebab, and a scraped ram's horn turns its talents to exploring Leader-Composer Lateef's oriental-flavored jazz fancies. Morning and Let Every Soul Say Amen may be too exotic for some tastes, but the easy-swinging sax flights of Gillespie's Woody'n You ought to set any pulse to bouncing.
Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-Cadet reissued it in 1971 with a different cover simply titled "Yusef Lateef" but otherwise no reissues in any format.A tough one to track down and expensive if you do-take a look here!