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Eastern Import


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Amazon's Yusef Lateef Store

Music

Image of album by Yusef Lateef

Photos

Image of Yusef Lateef

Biography

Yusef Lateef (b. 1920), a multi-instrumentalist who is equally skilled on tenor saxophone, flute, and oboe, is also a multiculturalist whose musical interests have long gone beyond jazz, a word he disdains. An innovator in mixing world music influences into jazz, Lateef is in his own musical category.

Originally an altoist, Lateef switched to tenor while in high school. He worked early ... Read more in Amazon's Yusef Lateef Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ace Records
  • ASIN: B000026FE8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 576,171 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy Buddha on 14 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yusef Lateef's Eastern Sounds is a classic album from the Sixties that was a firm favourite with both jazz fans and flower children. In fact, I first encountered it when it was given to me by a hippy chick who performed wonderfully sensuous dances to it. But it remains a jazz album with a nicely exotic flavour and it has been re-mastered to sound better than ever. Lateef plays a variety of reed instruments backed by a traditional rhythm section of piano, bass and drums. The music ranges from originals to a couple of film themes which, in Lateef's hands, become minor revelations. In fact, my favourite track is his version of the Love Theme from Spartacus - partly for the way that Lateef manages to turn the oboe into a seductive jazz instrument, but mostly for Barry Harris's lyrical piano that effortlessly fuses progression and melody. Indeed, Harris was a major factor in the success of this album and his talent deserved much wider recognition. Still, Eastern Sounds remains Lateef's moment - and an incredibly shining moment it is. The music is as fresh and refreshing as it was on the day it was recorded. And it will appeal to many people who do not normally consider themselves to be jazz fans. Listeners who already know Lateef will need little convincing to buy this CD. I would recommend it to everyone - to be listened to in a relaxed environment of candles and incense.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This is a very good jazz album - obviously even better on vinyl - but I still can't help thinking that a saxphone would sound better than oboe on 'Blues For The Orient'. Apart from this slight complaint the rest works very well including the chinese flute and some tracks actually on saxophone!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Jazz to burn incense by... 29 May 2002
By Cowboy Buddha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yusef Lateef's Eastern Sounds is a classic album from the 1960's that was a firm favourite with both jazz fans and flower children. In fact, I first encountered it when it was given to me by a hippy chick who performed wonderfully sensuous ad-lib dances to it. But it remains a jazz album with a nicely exotic flavour and it has been re-mastered to sound better than ever.
Lateef plays a variety of reed instruments backed by a traditional rhythm section of piano/drums/bass. The music ranges from originals to a couple of film themes which, in Lateef's hands, become minor revelations. In fact, my favourite track is his version of the Love Theme from Spartacus - partly for the way that Lateef manages to turn the oboe into a seductive jazz instrument, but mostly for Barry Harris's lyrical piano that effortlessly fuses progression and melody. Indeed, Harris was a major factor in the success of this album and his talent deserved much wider recognition.
Still, Eastern Sounds remains Lateef's moment - and an incredibly shining moment it is. The music is as fresh and refreshing today as it was on the day it was recorded. And it will appeal to many people who do not normally consider themselves to be jazz fans. Listeners who already know Lateef will need little convincing to buy this CD. I would recommend it to everyone - to be listened to in a relaxed environment of candles and incense.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and Beautiful 22 May 2004
By R. J. Marsella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This recording has held up so well over time due to the wonderful musicianship of Lateef and Barry Harris. There is indeed an "eastern" feel to Lateef's playing here but the jazz quartet format is still rooted in post -bop improvisation. Lateef is able to evoke emotion from each instrument he plays and the ballads are some of the most soulful and beautifully played to be found anywhere. At times his playing reminds me of Coltrane's softer side. Overall this is a CD to enjoy again and again.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sublime journey thru multiple instruments and styles. 13 Aug. 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This adventurous set of music offers a change of pace not only from your average jazz album, but from track to track. The cd opens with the airy oriental flavored "The Plum Blossom". On this track Lateef plays a Chinese globular flute that has a mere five note range, and displays his inventiveness on this ancient instrument as he constructs a lovely solo within the strict range. The exotic flavor is carried over into "Blues Fot the Orient", which features Lateef's oboe. This is one of the rarest of all solo instruments in jazz, and Lateef somehow manages to mix a disinctly oriental theme with an effective 4/4 blues. "Chinq Miau" features Lateef's tenor as he makes use of the chinese scale lending it's name to the track's title, constructing another thoughtful effective solo with an eastern flair. Lateef also makes use of more conventional jazz vehicals like, "Don't Blame Me" and "Love Theme from Spartacus" that are ballad standards featuring sensitive tenor and oboe interpretations respectively. The exotic final track "The Three Faces of Balal" features Lateef on a haunting European flute. The supporting cast is solid whith Lex Humphries on drums and Ernie Harris on bass and rabat, a stringed instrument which sounds like a plucked rubber band stretched around a kleenex box. Barry Harris is a fine pianist but sounds lost and out of place at times. This is a great cd for people looking for an introduction to Yusef Lateef's mastery of multiple instruments, or just new sounds in a jazz setting.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of the 30 greatest Jazz Albums of the 60s 12 Nov. 2001
By TUCO H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
That's right! One of the 30 greatest and I've got hundereds of them in my collection! And I'll bet you, you never even heard of it! Yusef Lateef is all over the place on this classic record. He composed 6 of the 9 brilliant compositions himself and rendered timeless versions of the 3 tracks that he covered.
I defy any jazz fan to find a more beautiful improvisation than Lateef's oboe flights on "Love Theme from Spartacus." He takes a well-known tune here and refines it about 10 levels higher than anyone else ever could.
Or for that matter, I defy anyone to find more beautiful tenor playing on a ballad than on "Blame Me."
Lateef also plays that instrument, mind you. He plays flute, oboe, and tenor sax, all better than most 'great' players ever learn to play one instrument. The arrangments are all top-notch and progressive (tunes in unusual meters such as 5/4 and 6/8), the rhythm is often tabla rather than drums, bringing even more of an 'eastern' feel to the proceedings.
If you're a jazz fan and you don't have this record, you surely must've been sleeping for the past 40 years! BUY IT NOW or suffer a permanent lack!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
top-notch Yusef Lateef sounds 12 Jan. 2005
By Mark Twain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you are going to buy a Yusef Lateef album, this is the one to get. It blends an amazing sense of experimentation with the cool, structured sound that Lateef knows like the back of his hand.

All the solos are amazing, in particular Lateef's. Among the more memorable songs are the two love themes, "Snafu", and "Blues For The Orient", although perhaps the freshest and catchiest track is "The Plum Blossom," a smooth, beautiful introduction to the album highlighted by Barry Harris' gorgeous piano language, tabla-like percussion, and Lateef in all his glory.

Upon first listen, Eastern Sounds may seem to be a little bit too much of an exoticization for Lateef to mold well - but the album grows on listeners like nothing else he has done.
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