CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Crotchet Midprice




With Art Farmer


CTI 5127952

Yusef Lateef - soprano sax, tenor sax, flute, shahnai, vocal
Art Farmer - flugelhorn
Cliff Carter - keyboards
Eric Gale - guitar
Gary King - electric bass
Jim Madison - drums
Sue Evans - percussion
Frank Floyd, Babi Floyd, Milt Grayson, Norberto Jones - background vocals.

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded Electric Lady Studios, New York 1977.

1. Robot Man
2. Look On Your Right Side
3. YL
4. Communication
5. Sister Mamie

This disc is one of a series of recent reissues on the CTI label. Over the last few years there has been a steady stream of material from the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Hank Crawford, Freddie Hubbard and Astrid Gilberto. The majority of these sess\ions date from the late 1960s to the 1970s.and much of the output reflects on an era when Jazz was coming under the influence of more diverse and popular forms such as Soul,Rock and the music of Latin America.

The two main protagonists on this particular session were, by this time, more or less establishment figures, if somewhat underrated. It is fascinating to here these strong musical personas crossing over into new territory, for whatever reasons. Yusef Lateef is a highly original player who not onlyis known for his work on the tenor saxophone and flute but also as a convincing performer on many rare wind instruments from around the world and as the first and, to my ears, only jazz musician to be truly convincing on the notoriously temperamental oboe.

By the time of these recordings Lateef had worked with many of the music's premier artists including a sojourn with The Cannonball Adderley Sextet and had some success both live and on disc with his own groups. Art Farmer had followed a similar path and had performed with musician's as diverse as Horace Silver,Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and was a regular on sessions on the Blue Note label. He was one of the first and most significant players to adopt the Flugelhorn as a substitute for the brighter, thinner sounding trumpet.

The music here is not at all what the listener of the time would have expected from these players redolent as it is with funky rhythms and soulful vocals but it is most enjoyable and rewarding in its content and for the freshness which is still apparent years later. Lateef and Farmer adapt with ease and confidence to the new style and this is a rare occasion in that Lateef actually plays the soprano saxophone instead of the oboe. I just wish he had chosen to work on this instrument more often. The backing band is superb and the whole project is most worthwhile and great fun simultaneously.

Dick Stafford


Error processing SSI file

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: