Yusef Lateef

Psychicemotus

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Psychicemotus was released in 1965 and features Yusef Lateef on various flutes and tenor saxophone, Georges Arvanitas on piano, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer James Black. And while the Coltrane era of modal and free jazz was in full swing, Lateef always followed his own muse, and continued looking forward while looking back to ancient musics. His use of bamboo and Chinese wood flutes on the title track and "Bamboo Flute Blues" added not only dimension and texture, but rhythmic invention to standard jazz forms. Yet his readings of Jerome Kern's and Oscar Hammerstein's "Why Do I Love You," on which he plays tenor, swings elegantly while incorporating both hard bop and angular outside playing in his solo. Arvanitas is a near perfect foil for Lateef in that while he's not as technically flashy as Barry Harris, he is a deeply sympathetic player who uses accents and ostinati as grounding points, and prefigures rhythmic changes rather than just comping. The beautiful reading of Erik Satie's "First Gymnopedie" on which Lateef plays flute is an utterly beautiful, restrained, and adventurous reading, and is allowed to resonate rhythmically with hand-percussion fills by Black. While not Lateef's finest recording for Impulse (Live at Pep's takes the cake), it certainly is a worthy and memorable one.

blue highlight denotes track pick