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Yusef Lateef
Eastern Sounds (Craft Reissue)

Craft Recordings

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$70.00 SGD
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$70.00 SGD


This reissue of "Eastern Sounds" was mastered from the original stereo tapes by GRAMMY®-Award winning mastering engineer Bernie Grundman and pressed utilizing Neotech’s VR9000 compound on 180-gram vinyl at RTI in a one-step lacquer process—as opposed to the standard three-step process—allowing for the utmost level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record. The limited nature of the pressing guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording. New liner notes from the GRAMMY® Award-winning music historian, journalist, and producer, Ashley Kahn complete the package.

Fusing hard bop with influences of Middle Eastern and Asian music, "Eastern Sounds" was exploratory yet highly accessible to mainstream jazz audiences. Recorded in 1961 at Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, the album features Lateef on tenor saxophone, oboe, flute, and a Chinese xun (an ancient globular flute). Accompanying Lateef is pianist Barry Harris, drummer Lex Humphries, and bassist Ernie Farrow, who also performs the rubab—an Afghani lute-like instrument. The engaging, nine-track album primarily consists of Lateef’s original compositions, in addition to the Jimmy McHugh standard “Don’t Blame Me” and two soundtrack selections: “Love Theme from Spartacus” and “Love Theme from The Robe.” Spanning a variety of moods, Eastern Sounds “effectively balances the familiar with the foreign,” explains Kahn in his liner notes. “When the album truly looks east—in sound and title—magic happens.” 

Highlights include the opening and closing tracks, “The Plum Blossom” and “The Three Faces of Balal,” respectively, as well as “Blues for the Orient.” The latter composition, Kahn notes, “is a standout track for multiple reasons, including Lateef’s oboe, with its evocative power, and the tune’s rhythmic construction.” He continues, “Check out the segue from a deep Southern blues feel to a Middle Eastern lilt…then Harris…moves the music even further east—a taste of Chinese voicings—before bringing it back home to the late-night blues: thousands of miles suggested in a matter of minutes.”

"Eastern Sounds", which marked Lateef’s 16th album, was not his first exploration of global music. In fact, by the time that Lateef began recording as a leader in 1957, he was already setting himself apart from his contemporaries—broadening his sound by learning new instruments and studying the music of other cultures. Lateef, who converted to Islam in the late ’40s, first experimented with elements of Eastern music in Prayer to the East (Savoy, 1957), and continued to expand his palate throughout his long and prolific career. In his obituary, the New York Times declared that the groundbreaking artist “played world music before world music had a name.” — (via Craft Recordings)

Label: Craft Recordings
Series: Original Jazz Classics
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Stereo, 180g
Country: Worldwide
Reissued: Dec 2023 / Original Release: 1961
Genre: Jazz
Style: Soul-Jazz, Modal

File under: Saxophone