Like It Is - Yusef Lateef (The Blue Yusef Lateef).wmv
A master of the tenor sax and myriad other woodwind instruments, Yusef Lateef is joined on this 1968 date by an all-star ensemble that features trumpeter Blue Mitchell, bassist Cecil Brooks, and guitarist Kenny Burrell. They delve into the spirituals on "Juba, Juba," and the blues on "Othelia," "Back Home," and "Six Miles Next Door." "Moon Cup" is an impassioned Afro-Eurasian eclipse of the medieval plainchant and Filipino chant, while "Get Over, Get Off, and Get On" sounds like it could be a track from the original Shaft. The standout track is "Like It Is," a hypnotic midtempo blues composition laced with strings, background vocals, and Lateef's exotic sax and bamboo flute. Here's further proof that this master's aural explorations broadened jazz and paved the way for world music's enduring popularity. --Eugene Holley Jr.