Personnel: Yusef Lateef, Clark Terry, Richard Williams, Curtis Fuller, Tate Houston, Josea Taylor, Joe Zawinul, Ben Tucker, Lex Humphries, Barry Harris, Ernie Farrow, Roger Sanders, Garvin Masseaux.
Recorded in October 1960 and June 1961.
Personnel: Yusef Lateef (flute, oboe, saxophone, tenor saxophone); Josea Taylor (bassoon); Tate Houston (baritone saxophone); Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn); Richard Gene Williams (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Joe Zawinul, Barry Harris (piano); Lex Humphries (drums); Roger Sanders, Garvin Masseaux (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Gary Hobish.
Liner Note Author: Chris Albertson.
Recording information: Bell Sound Studios, New York, NY (10/04/1960-06/23/1961); New York, NY (10/04/1960-06/23/1961); Plaza Sound Studios, New York, NY (10/04/1960-06/23/1961).
Photographer: Lawrence Shustak.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Richard Gene Williams ; Ernie Farrow; Clark Terry; Curtis Fuller; Roger Sanders; Josea Taylor; Tate Houston; Joe Zawinul; Lex Humphries; Barry Harris ; Ben Tucker; Garvin Masseaux.
An under-appreciated jazz innovator, Yusef Lateef made many strides with regard to instrumentation in jazz. One of the few jazz oboe and bassoon players, Lateef also introduced such instruments as the argol (a double clarinet that resembles a bassoon) and the shanai (a type of oboe) into the jazz setting. However, his main instruments were the tenor saxophone and the flute. On this 1961 record date, the inventive Lateef surrounds himself with a horn section that features, among others, trumpet great Clark Terry and trombonist Curtis Fuller. A bassoonist by the name of Josea Taylor is also heard here and the rhythm section is lead by the noted pianist and composer, Joe Zawinul.
A diverse and thoughtful set of music is presented on THE CENTAUR AND THE PHOENIX including soulful blues numbers, lush ballads, and miscellaneous Eastern-influenced explorations. Highlights include Lateef's gorgeous flute work on the ballad "Summer Song," and the Latin-inflected, "Titora" which comes from a separate session with pianist Barry Harris, percussionists Roger Sanders and Gavin Masseaux, bassist Ernie Farrow, and drummer Lex Humphries.