Personnel: Yusef Lateef, Barry Harris, Herman Wright, Elvin Jones.
Yusef Lateef's career has been one of the most varied in jazz. He arrived on the scene, ostensibly, in 1949 when he joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band becoming a bebop (and hard bop) tour-de-force. However, in 1961, when INTO SOMETHING was recorded, Lateef was beginning to make changes in his musical conception: changes that by the late '60s would establish him as one of jazz's finest experimenters. Joined by an all-star band including Barry Harris on piano, Herman Wright on bass and Elvin Jones on drums, INTO SOMETHING is a forward looking effort that combines both strong bop elements with a flair for the eclectic and the unusual.
We hear this best on the album's opener, "Rasheed." A standard blues--but marked by the shrill tone and unconventional ideas of Lateef's oboe playing--this song hints at the rapid evolution of jazz. In contrast, Lateef's gorgeous version of the ballad "You've Changed" serves almost as an homage to the great swing-era tenor saxophonist, Ben Webster.