Music On Vinyl

Yusef Lateef – The Gentle Giant


Music On Vinyl

Yusef Lateef – The Gentle Giant


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The Gentle Giant is a great Souljazz album by multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef recorded in 1970 and 1971. Backing up Lateef are seasoned Jazz players like Eric Gale, Chuck Rainey, Albert Heath and Ray Bryant, guaranteeing a well-defined album that offers an insight in his unique musicianship with a small ensemble of focused and singular-minded players.

At a time when funk and fusion were merging with the intensely volatile and distrustful mood of the U.S., Lateef's brand of Detroit Soul evolved from his earlier Hard Bop Jazz and World music innovations. The Gentle Giant is an appropriate title, as Lateef's levitational flute looms large over the Rhythm & Blues beats central to the equation. Kenny Barron's Fender Rhodes electric piano is also a sign of the times.

This is a prime example of a post-Bitches Brew, pre-Weather Report/Headhunters Jazz album that put Lateef in many respects to the forefront of the Fusion movement. – Press Release

“Jungle Plum is indeed a plum with Lateef’s deeply groovy flute contributing to an Isaac Hayes/Quincy Jones feel. His playing is raspy, rousing and virile, accompanied by catchy — if incomprehensible — vocal interjections which, again, are reminiscent of Quincy Jones in his Hikky Burr collaboration with Bill Cosby, which featured similar nonsense lyrics and which was similarly infectious and joyful. It’s another Kenny Barron composition and once more we’re treated to Barron’s adroit, rippling Fender Rhodes lines. Ladzi Cammara plays ‘African percussion’ on this hip, swinging, archetypically 1970s number. The Poor Fishermen, a Lateef composition, is a more sober and melancholy piece, as spare and wistful as a Japanese water colour. Once again it features Kuumba ‘Tootie’ Heath, this time accompanied by Yusef Lateef in a duet which provides a dreamy sense of déjà vu as the two flutes call out to each other in plaintive cry and response, like two birds in mist-shrouded trees.” – London Jazz News

Item description:


Yusef Lateef ‎


The Gentle Giant


Music On Vinyl / Atlantic


Vinyl, LP, Album, 180 Grams



Release Date:

This reissue: 2014 | Original – 1972


Jazz, Funk / Soul



Catalog No: