Yusef’s Mood – 1971

Yusef Lateef


A hard-swinging blues

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Yusef Lateef (1920-2013) was a multi-talented individual who was jazz’s first significant oboe player, a superb flutist, adept on the bassoon and various exotic Eastern instruments, a bebopper, an early New Age artist, and one who introduced aspects of World Music into his groups.

Lateef was actually originally a hard-stomping tenor player who had his own sound and a relaxed but explorative style.

On “Yusef’s Mood,” which was performed on Swedish television in 1971, Lateef is joined by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Bob Cunningham, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath.”

The medium-tempo blues begins with a stirring solo by Barron that has the feel of stride piano and becomes pretty jubilant; Cunningham and Heath sound inspired from the start.

Yusef Lateef has a lengthy tenor solo that builds up slowly to an explosive climax with the rhythm section swinging hard throughout and getting quite excited.

Try to watch this performance without smiling.

-Scott Yanow


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