Friday, February 9, 2018

Yusef Lateef - The African American Epic Suite

An absolutely stunning symphonic piece of art by jazz legend Yusef Lateef (recorded when he was 83!), in which he offers a musical reflection on the 400-plus-year-old history of African Americans through four movements, each being a musical representation of slavery and abduction from the African homeland to be enslaved, enslavement and the beginning of a new self, compassion and resilience in the face of inhumanity, and the hopeful, roaring but also tentative period post-Jim Crow. This is an amazing combination of a jazz quintet (Lateef & Eternal Wind) and orchestra, alternating between African rhythms, free but also spiritual jazz, and classical music. I love this. 1994 cd on ACT.


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