INFORMATION OM PRODUKTEN
Yusef Lateef (1920-2013) was respectfully baptized "The Gentle Giant" by his musician friends Jimmy Heath and Kenny Barron. During his long and rewarding lifetime Lateef developed into
one of the most versatile and influential personalities of African American music. Starting out as a Jazz tenor saxophonist schooled in Blues and Swing bands in Detroit in the Thirties and Forties, he was the oldest of many great Modern Jazz musicians originating from there, such as Milt Jackson, Kenny Burrell, Pepper Adams, Kenny Barron, Paul Chambers and the Jones Brothers.
With Lucky Millinder, Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page he played for the best bands of that era and finally became part of the Dizzy Gillespie band in the late forties. There he was inspired by Dizzy´s
experiments with Afro Cuban rhythms to look further into the music of the Near East. He returned to Detroit in 1950, changed his given name William Evans to Yusef Lateef, became member of
a non-radical Islamic community and started his studies of flute and composition at Wayne State University. In the meantime he played with his own bands around town and developed a unique
sound concept incorporating music from non-western cultures and the use of instruments not yet used in Jazz bands, such as all kinds of flutes, the oboe and more. The New York Times wrote
in his obituary: "He played world music before world music had a name." When he took his band and music to New York City in 1957, he became a favorite of almost every independent jazz
label operating at the time. As a leader he recorded the incredible amount of 17 albums until 1962 - the only other leader matching that number during that time was none other than Miles Davis. This is the period our boxset documents.
Accompanied by rather unknown but top rate musicians, who had learned and developed Lateef´s music through countless performances, it is hard to single out any album as the best of the bunch. By 1960 Lateef had moved to NYC and continued his studies at Manhattan School of Music. Still he found time to be part of other major bands and recording sessions, for instance with Randy Weston - a true brother in mind of Lateef -, Clark Terry, Paul Chambers and Nat Adderley. Listen and you will discover your own favorites. Besides many academic degrees, Grammy and other awards, Yusef Lateef was honored with the lifetime Jazz Master Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010. That there was respect and comradery between East and West Coast musicians is best documented by Modern Jazz Quartet
musical mind and pianist John Lewis and his beautiful album "Great Encounter" gathering some of the best musicians of both ends of North America. But here in this collection is so much to
find and enjoy and all justified by no one else but the Duke: "It don´t mean a thing if it ain´t got that......".