Yusef Lateef (born William Emanuel Huddleston; October 9, 1920) is an American Grammy Award-winning jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator and a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community after his conversion to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in 1950.
Although Lateef's main instruments are the tenor saxophone and flute, he also plays oboe and bassoon, both rare in jazz, and also uses a number of world music instruments, notably the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, Xun, arghul, sarewa, and koto. He is known for his innovative blending of jazz with "Eastern" music.
Eastern Sounds is an album by jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, recorded in 1961. The album features Lateef's continued exploration of Indian music, which were incorporated into his distinct brand of soulful hard bop with a quartet featuring Barry Harris on piano. The opening track features Lateef on Chinese globular flute, generally called the xun, which moves into a standard blues progression in D. The fusing of musical genres was not a new thing in jazz or for Lateef as his 1957 album Prayer to the East incorporated the shehnai and Middle Eastern influences in playing jazz standards. Furthermore John Coltrane was experimenting with the Indian modes with his quintet by the time of this album, but had yet to record any of these in the studio. Aside from Lateef's original compositions, there are covers of themes from the films Spartacus and The Robe.
Saw Yusef Lateef at the Village Vanguard years ago. Of course Spartacus is one of my top 10 movies of all time. Started by Anthony Mann (the first hour of the film is his work) it was completed by the great Stanley Kubrick. The only editing I'd do is at the beginning removing from the voice-over that slavery had died. As far as I can tell slavery is alive & well in many different forms.
Until that day when Spartacus is victorious...!
Yours for a world free from exploitation.
From the 1961 album 'Eastern Sounds' (Original Jazz Classics)
Personnel: Yusef Lateef: oboe, Barry Harris: piano, Ernie Farrow: bass, Lex Humphries: drums
By far my favorite version of this classic tune! Enjoy!