Of all the different elements and sides there are to Yusef Lateef, one of the most complex, profound, and diverse musicians of the 20th century, few of his recordings showcase his depth like the soundtrack for this documentary film. With the aid of electric bassist Gene Torres and drummer/percussionist Kamal Sabir (of Ornette Coleman & Prime Time), Lateef creates a series of 32 soundscapes, ranging in length from 12 seconds to seven and a half minutes. Musically, the range is so wide that it's almost impossible to breach the chasm it creates in our over-inflated notions of both popular and high culture. With the exception of the opener, "Instrumental Gospel," which is a recurrent theme, with its blues and funk turnarounds and accents, there is no classifying the rest of the music found here, except to say that it is ultimately very accessible yet sophisticated and deeply moving. Even without the images to accompany it, Lateef's score stands on its own as a tapestry of aural silhouettes and colors, shades, and textures from just beyond the shade of everyday reality, coming from a deeper spiritual base and being given utterance through the band's sense of aesthetic and poetic impulse. This sings, sways, shimmer, shakes, grooves, and weeps; it laughs in places, and is meditative in others, and always comes out the same: a music to take you deeper. This is certainly Lateef's intent with all his music, but here it works particularly well.
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