2017-08-15 The Blue

The Blue

The Blue Yusef Lateef.

I’m not super familiar with Yusef Lateef. I know he was a multi-instrumentalist who was one of the first late-20th Century Jazz artists to embrace Middle Eastern and Asian musical influences.

This album is primarily about embracing the influences of African American folk, work, and popular idioms in Jazz.

In the 40s and 50s, it wasn’t really cool to overtly play the blues if you were a Jazz Artist. A lot of early Jazz and Blues artists were reviled for what was viewed by younger Jazz artists as “Uncle Tom-ing” or pandering to white audiences for commercial gain. Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong come to mind, as artists who were thought of in this manner.

However, when artists in the Folk, Skiffle, and British Invasion rediscovered and revisited African American folk traditions, African American Jazz and popular artists also began to revisit these musics and traditions.

At best, this album sounds like a person joyfully rediscovering his musical roots. At worst, (Moon Cup,) from the remove of the 21st Century, it sounds like a dilettante artist parodying Asian American speech and musical traditions without having the remotest idea about the rules or structures of those traditions.

#YusefLateef #BlueMitchell #SonnyRed #BuddyLucas #HughLawson #KennyBurrell #CecilMcBee #BobCranshaw #RoyBrooks #SelwartClarke #JamesTryon #AlfredBrown #KermitMoore #TheSweetInspirations