Yusef Lateef, born October 9th, 1920 was a legendary jazz saxophonist, composer, and educator. He was also a pioneer in the use of non-Western instruments and musical traditions in jazz.
It was in the early 1960s that Lateef began to explore non-Western instruments and musical traditions. He was particularly interested in the music of India and Africa. Lateef began to incorporate these elements into his own music, and he released a number of albums that featured a unique blend of jazz and non-Western music.
One of Lateef’s most notable albums is Eastern Sounds (1961). This album features Lateef playing a variety of non-Western instruments, including the shenai (an Indian oboe), the arghool (an Egyptian double clarinet), and the shekere (an African gourd rattle). Lateef also incorporated elements of Indian and African music into the compositions on the album.
Lateef continued to explore non-Western instruments and musical traditions throughout his career. He released a number of other albums that featured a unique blend of jazz and non-Western music, including Into Something (1964), Live at Pep’s (1965), and Hush ‘N’ Thunder (1968).
In 2010, Lateef was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master recognition. Lateef was a true pioneer of jazz music. He was one of the first jazz musicians to explore non-Western instruments and musical traditions, and he was also a versatile saxophonist and gifted composer. Lateef’s music continues to inspire and entertain people all over the world.