Personnel: Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone, oboe, flute); Barry Harris (piano); Ernie Farrow (bass); Lex Humphries (drums).
Recorded in Englewood, New Jersey in September 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7319). Includes original liner notes by Joe Goldberg.
Personnel: Yusef Lateef (flute, oboe, tenor saxophone); Barry Harris (piano); Ernie Farrow (upright bass); Lex Humphries (drums).
This 1961 release may be significant in the vast canon of jazz recordings if only because it predates John Coltrane's forays into Eastern modal music. Coltrane didn't really explore the connection between jazz and Eastern musical styles until A LOVE SUPREME. Certainly, it is widely accepted that Coltrane's 1965 landmark albums, TRANSITION, KULU SE MAMA, and ASCENSION firmly established him as the main practitioner of Eastern influenced modal jazz. However, on Lateef's EASTERN SOUNDS, we hear the tenor man forging new territory years prior to Coltrane's experiments. Indeed, Lateef draws many fine musical parallels between the music of the Orient and American jazz on this outing.
Lateef's experiments are quite successful on this recording, even though the album's conception is somewhat stymied by his mainstream jazz roots. For example, a straight-up (albeit beautiful) version of the standard "Don't Blame Me" seems out of place with Lateef's own wacky compositions. Still, "The Plum Blossom," "Chinq Miau" and the outlandish album closer, "The Three Faces of Balal" are quite compelling, making this record a valuable and unique asset to any CD collection.