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Eastern Sounds [Original recording remastered, Import]

Yusef Lateef Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 7.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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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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Eastern Sounds + The Golden Flute + 8 Classic Albums
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Plum Blossom 4:550.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Blues for the Orient 5:360.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Chinq Miau 3:160.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Don't Blame Me 4:550.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Love Theme from 'Spartacus' 4:110.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Snafu 5:380.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Purple Flower 4:280.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Love Theme from 'The Robe' 3:580.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Three Faces of Balal 2:150.69  Buy MP3 

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of Its Time 30 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is widely acknowledged as one of the crowning glories of Yusef Lateef's career, and it is easy to see why. An eastern influence does permeate much of the material, but it is no gimmick. Yusef Lateef made a study of exotic scales and he knew how to use them without it sounding in the least bit contrived. The eclecticism of both the tunes and the instrumentation (Lateef plays the Chinese globular flute on one track and an oboe on another) works because of a clear unity of purpose which is apparent throughout the album. Accessibility is balanced against innovation and the result is immensely rewarding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars long time favourite 14 Sep 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Had the vinyl for years finally it gave up the ghost. I got this CD. Not as mellow a sound as vinyl but still a wonderful timeless album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jazzrook TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This quartet session was originally recorded for the PRESTIGE MOODSVILLE label in New Jersey on September 5, 1961 with the great multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef(tenor saxophone, oboe, flute); Barry Harris(piano) Ernie Farrow(bass, rebab) & Lex Humphries(drums).
Lateef was exploring Eastern music well before John Coltrane and several of his exotic compositions are presented here. Highlights are 'The Plum Blossom' featuring the five-note clay flute, his oboe playing on 'Blues For The Orient' and Lateef's hard-driving tenor saxophone on 'Snafu'.
'Eastern Sounds' is a beautiful and varied album which displays Lateef's wide-ranging musical talents.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing session 9 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD
Lateef does not have much original to say on this album and nor do his accompanists. He plays, in a desultory way, with 'exotic' scales and harmonies, but to little purpose.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Vision at Its Clearest 8 Sep 2006
By Richard B. Luhrs - Published on
Format:Audio CD
One could argue that several of multi-reedsman Yusef Lateef's other albums are as strong as EASTERN SOUNDS; but it's no accident that this 1961 collection has consistently been hailed by both fans and critics as the supreme distillation of his unique and enduring vision - that of jazz as the true "world music."
Lateef's golden era, dating approximately from his first recordings as a leader circa 1956 through the end of his tenure at Impulse! Records a decade later, saw the gifted tenor saxophonist/flautist/oboist release a steady stream of top-quality albums, which over time tended less to break new ground than to reiterate the revolutionary message with which the artist had begun his career: that jazz was wide enough to incorporate anything, from anywhere, and still be jazz. Whether honking away on bizarre Mideastern horns, trying out overtly foreign time signatures and rhythms or employing a deflating balloon as an instrument, Lateef and his various combos produced some of the most exotic and yet most classical sounds of the era, and never more successfully than on EASTERN SOUNDS.
With a characteristic mixture of original compositions, jazz standards and movie themes (which, in lesser hands, might seem like a nod to commercial considerations), EASTERN SOUNDS is as kaleidoscopic in its source material as in its instrumentation, with both running the gamut from stately purist refinement to rousing eclecticism. That the album never for a moment ceases to be coherent, intelligent and beautiful is a testament to Lateef's musical and philosophical acumen. As he proved here and on so many other releases, jazz is indeed a universe, with room enough for all the spheres of sound. The fortunate listener could ask for no more capable pilot through its vastnesses than this eminently gifted, bridge-building visionary.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Music 30 Dec 2006
By Some Angel's Trumpet - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Cross-cultural explorations of music usually turn up going one of two routes: the path of musical expansion/discovery that sometimes detours down the lane of genius or the bushy, thorny and (hopefully) killer troll-infested path of gross oversimplification of a culture and tepid romanticization of said culture. Thankfully, Lateef has clearly carefully studied, experimented with and ultimately trained himself in what he wishes to incorporate into the music he would eventually produce. And while I may be wrong with this, Lateef seems to not say "this music is the culture." Instead, he seems to be saying "maybe our imaginations are a bit too limited, cat. Maybe just maybe we can soak in some influences and make it ours." This is what I really appreciate about this beautiful album. It's all about taking jazz and exploring its musical capabilities by any means possible--even if that means incorporating some instruments and influences that the average jazzman wouldn't even dream about touching.

These words are almost immediately proven when one pops this glorious CD in and listen to the first track, "The Plum Blossom." The name alone fills my head with all kinds of beautiful imagery. The listener is introduced to this album with a quiet, peaceful riff of an Indian instrument called the "rahab." (Wikipedia it.) And if that wasn't enough, the listener is then treated to a subdued yet beautiful melody played by a Chinese instrument called the "xun." (Once again, Wikipedia it.) To remind us that this is jazz, it seems, a careful and meticulous piano comes into the mix and interplays with the xun in a way that seems that these two instruments hail from one musical tradition. +1 for Sir Lateef.

Afterwards, we're treated to some traditional jazz/blues with "Blues For the Orient." I do not believe that this song utilizes any eastern instruments but the influence does some out in the use of the chord changes (I'm nowhere near technically proficient so I like to shy away from saying such things.) and the careful use of the Lateef's oboe in this song. Perhaps Lateef plays on/with our romantizations of the East and tortures us by dipping us into the cauldron of the exotic but yanks us out of this ecstasy and tosses us, cold and naked, back into the world of Americana.

Four standard jazz pieces make their way into the mix but don't seem to be out of place at all. The two livelier of the pieces--Chinq Miau and Snafu--are both introduced by extremely hip bass lines. The drums soon come in to complete the rhythm section and then we're treated to an even greater surprise: Lateef plays the saxophone! His playing on these songs goes to show that while he doesn't embrace the relentless torrent of soul that constitutes Coltrane's (another fellow that began to experiment with Eastern music around this time) aesthetic, he was still able to roll with the saxophone giants in jazz at the time. Though, in keeping with the aesthetic of this album, he doesn't let all out which he shows he obviously can do. The two quieter jazz standards of the album--"Don't Blame Me" and "Purple Flower"--make great additions that simultaneously contradict and accentuate their more exotic counterparts.

The two greatest surprises on the album, however, are the inclusion of two renditions of songs scored by the great film composer Alex North. Sure, film music may be slightly detached from the theme of the album but why the hell not, right? The slightly less impressive of these two inclusions, "Love Theme from The Robe," is still very tender (as a love theme should be, right?) and exhibits form amazing flute playing from Lateef. They dance all over the main theme of the original song yet still remain close enough to it for the melody to be recognizable. The other love theme, from Kubrick's Spartacus, is an amazingly beautiful inclusion on this record and probably even trumps a lot of the Eastern-influenced pieces on the album for many people. For the most part, the players stay fairly close to the main melody and there's nothing wrong with that at all: the melody is absolutely genius and I'd see no reason wander away from it. Of particular interest is the piano solo in the middle of the song, which has to be one of the best improvisational performances I've heard in quite a while. (Though, admittedly, I've been sort of out of the loop in terms of jazz for a while.)

Finally, the rahab returns for the album's final cut, "The Three Faces of Balal." For a mere two minutes, the rahab, piano and mystical flute dance with one another and ends the album in such a sparse, delicate way as it began. Sometimes, you can't help but forget that tons of cultural and artistic influences have been packed into this album to create something completely new. And on top of that, it didn't have to be thrown under the label of "postmodernism" or had to have been beaten in your head in a Tantantinoesque manner. You're just supposed to take it for what it is and relax.

Definitely a winner.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YUSEF LATEEF-EASTERN SOUNDS 7 May 2007
By HARD BOP GRANDPOP - Published on
Format:Audio CD
An alltime jazz clasic and near perfect jazz album.Eastern Sounds is an essential component of any jazz afecionado's collection!Yusef Lateef is at the height of his God given powers on this tour de force, yet subtle and tender rendering.The remastering by Rudy Van Gelder(who is among the very best jazz recording engineers ever) is exceptional and brings this collection to spectacular fidelity.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, that good. 27 Jan 2009
By Alec Rojas - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I am outclassed by this record, and for that reason alone, I will have to use context to explain why you must simply have to buy this record.

This record predates me almost twice over and still remains one of the most influential records of my life. When I learned how to play and write music, the melodic inventiveness of jazz became a playful, relentless abyss of knowledge. I was captivated by the technique and improvisation of these prodigies. But this record dropped into my life and, for the first time, everything made sense.

Eastern Sounds, made under the backdrop of recording ballads and exploring Eastern music, never ceases to disappoint me with the choices that are made by each musician. Lex Humphries, a drummer whose adventures in melody ranged from Coltrane to Sa Ra, spills rhythm like an overflown sink. Ernie Farrow muscles through ballads like "Don't Blame Me" effortlessly, reminding the listener that, yes, music is easy for these guys. Meanwhile Barry Harris never stops colouring the melodies with more melodies, unafraid to use the musician's best friend (As my old professor calls her, "Silence") to keep the band together. And Lateef, what to say of his versatility. Even while switching instruments to create drones and polytones off of his band mates, he remains endlessly endearing to the listener. The right balance of experimentation, restraint, and universal appeal.

With all the skill and technique in the world, sometimes a musician has to make the right choices. This is a record overflowing with them, cementing itself as one of my desert island records. Really, it doesn't get much better than this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 31 July 2008
By W. Saayman - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I've owned this album for years and it is truly sublime. I can't recommend it highly enough. A very special work.
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