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Yusef Lateef's Detroit

Yusef Lateef

03 May 2004

Yusef Lateef’s career as a leader stretched from the Savoy label in the mid ‘50s, Prestige/New Jazz (early ‘60s) and Impulse! (mid ‘60s) before he joined the Atlantic label in 1967.  Recorded a year later, this is an evocative musical study of Detroit’s landscape, people, and spirit, where Lateef had spent the late '50s, and captures the memory of the city before it was torn apart by racial strife and economic inequality in 1967. There is no way to make a record that suggests Detroit without rhythm, and Lateef employs plenty of it here in his choice of musicians: conga players Ray Barretto and Norman Pride; Tootie Heath on percussion; Cecil McBee, Roy Brooks, and Bernard Purdie; electric bassist Chuck Rainey; electric guitarist Eric Gale; pianist Hugh Lawson; and a string quartet that included Kermit Moore.