Yusef Lateef

Blues for the Orient

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This double-LP from 1974 has the complete contents of two Yusef Lateef Prestige albums: Eastern Sounds and The Sounds of Yusef. The latter date (which has not yet been reissued on CD) is from 1957 and features Lateef, flugelhornist Wilbur Harden, pianist Hugh Lawson, bassist Ernie Farrow and drummer Oliver Jackson all doubling on unusual instruments such as the argol, Turkish finger cymbals, a 7-Up bottle, balloons, a rabat and an earthboard. They perform a romping version of "Take the 'A' Train," and Harden's "Playful Flute" and three diverse Lateef originals. The later session, which has Lateef (on tenor, oboe and flute) playing with the Barry Harris trio, ranges from his famous version of "Love Theme from Spartacus," and "Blues for the Orient" to "The Plum Blossom" and several obscure but enjoyable originals. This music is highly recommended in one form or another.