Yusef Lateef – The Gentle Giant (1972/2011) [HDTracks]


Title: The Gentle Giant
Year Of Release: 2011 (1972)
Label: Rhino Atlantic
Genre: Soul Jazz, Jazz-funk
Quality: FLAC (tracks) [24bit/192kHz]
Total Time: 37:40
Total Size: 1,51 GB

Multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef mesmerizes with his 1972 release, The Gentle Giant. His innovative style revolutionized the jazz scene. A mix of jazz with soul, the album showcases Lateef’s unmatched musicianship. Lateef performs numerous wind instruments on the album but the true highlight is his funky use of the flute. The stunning album includes an upbeat “Nubian Lady”, a groovy “Jungle Plum” and an inspired rendition of “Hey Jude”.

Yusef Lateef's music from the early '70s commands large doses of both appeal and skepticism. At a time when funk and fusion were merging with the intensely volatile and distrustful mood of the U.S., Lateef's brand of Detroit soul garnered new fans, and turned away those who preferred his earlier hard bop jazz or world music innovations. Thus The Gentle Giant is an appropriate title, as Lateef's levitational flute looms large over the rhythm & blues beats central to the equation. Kenny Barron's Fender Rhodes electric piano is also a sign of the times, an entry point introducing him to the contemporary jazz scene, and on that point alone is historically relevant. The post-Bitches Brew, pre-Weather Report/Headhunters time period is to be considered, and how this music put Lateef in many respects to the forefront of the movement. While inconsistent and at times uneven, there's more to praise than damn in the grooves and unique musicianship he offers with this small ensemble of focused and singular-minded players. At once funky and cool, Barron's "Nubian Lady" sets the tone out of the gate, the tune totally trumping Herbie Mann's Memphis Underground/Push Push style. The similar-sounding "Jungle Plum" is more danceable, simpler, and less attractive. While "Aftican Song" is also in this vein, it is less about the continent in the title as it is reflective of the era, and a slower number. Perhaps that actual title and the sleigh bell-driven "Below Yellow Bell" could have been reversed, for it is more Afrocentric, with Lateef's wordless vocal counterpoint closer to sounds of the savanna over a baroque rhythm & blues. ....


01 - Nubian Lady
02 - Lowland Lullabye
03 - Hey Jude
04 - Jungle Plum
05 - The Poor Fisherman
06 - African Song
07 - Queen Of The Night
08 - Below Yellow Bell

Yusef Lateef - tenor saxophone, flute, bamboo flute, pneumatic bamboo flute, oboe, bells, tambourine
Eric Gale - guitar
Neal Boyar - vibraphone, chimes
Chuck Rainey - electric bass
Albert Heath - drums, flute
Jimmy Johnson - drums
The Sweet Inspirations - backing vocals
Kermit Moore - cello
Kenny Barron, Ray Bryant - piano, electric piano
Bob Cunningham, Sam Jones - bass
Bill Salter - electric bass
Ladji Camara - African percussion

Yusef Lateef - The Gentle Giant (1972/2011) [HDTracks]