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Yusef Lateef Quick Facts
William Emanuel Huddleston , better known as Yusef Lateef , is an American jazz musician and composer, born on in Chattanooga, Tennessee and died the in Shutesbury (Massachusetts).
Author of many records, Yusef Lateef is distinguished by the integration of elements of oriental music in his jazz, and by the fact that he is able to play several wind instruments: besides the saxophone, he has used various flutes – mainly the flute -, oboe, bassoon, and other instruments from Asia and Africa, such as shenai, xun, koto and arghoul.
Yusef Lateef’s Biography
Youth and Training
In 1925, William Huddleston and his family moved to Detroit, Michigan. This is where his musical career begins: using the name of William Evans, he attends many jazz musicians including Milt Jackson, Paul Chambers, Elvin Jones and Kenny Burrell. In 1949, he was invited on tour by Dizzy Gillespie in his world-renowned orchestra. In 1950, Yusef Lateef returned to Detroit and began studying music composition and flute at Wayne State University. He converted to Ahmadist Islam and adopted the name Yusef Lateef,.
Yusef Lateef forms a band with trombonist Curtis Fuller, drummer Louis Hayes and pianist Hugh Lawson He began recording as a leader in 1956 for Savoy Records, releasing nothing less than five albums the following year. In 1961, with the album Eastern Sounds (en), he acquired a sound of his own with oriental influences clearly perceptible. The sound of Yusef Lateef has had a major influence on saxophonist John Coltrane, who later in the free jazz period will also use features influenced by the Orient.
In 1960, Lateef continued to learn flute at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He collaborated with Julian Cannonball Adderley which he joined the quintet, while continuing to record as a leader. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1969, then a master’s degree in 1975. From 1972 he became associate professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. In the meantime, his music gradually turned to blues and then to funk.
In the 1980s, Yusef Lateef turned to new age music. In 1992, he founded the YAL Records label and, in 1993, was commissioned by the WDR radio orchestra to compose the African American Epic Suite, a four-part work for orchestra and quartet based on the theme of slavery. in the USA. The work has since been performed by the Atlanta and Detroit Symphony Orchestras.
In 2005, Yusef Lateef is invited to record with the brothers Lionel and Stéphane Belmondo. The result will be Influence, a double album mixing jazz and classical music, followed by several tours in France and abroad.
The same year Nicolas Humbert & amp; Werner Penzel, directors of Step Across The Border, dedicated the film Brother Yusef [archive] , shot in his wooden house in the middle of a forest of Massachusetts. / p>
Yusef Lateef has written several books, including a short story entitled A Night in the Garden of Love, and published the new books Spheres and Rain Shapes. In addition to his recording house YAL Records, Yusef Lateef owns Fana Music, a music publishing company. He publishes his own work at Fana, including The Bluespeak Book, a book about scales called Repository of scales and music patterns and many of his orchestral compositions.
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