Yusef Lateef

American jazz musician (1920–2013) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Yusef Abdul Lateef (born William Emanuel Huddleston; October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, and prominent figure among the Ahmadiyya Community in America.

Quick facts: Yusef Lateef, Background information, Birth n...
Yusef Lateef
Lateef in a 2007 performance
Lateef in a 2007 performance
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Emanuel Huddleston
Also known asYusef Lateef
Born(1920-10-09)October 9, 1920
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedDecember 23, 2013(2013-12-23) (aged 93)
Shutesbury, Massachusetts
GenresNew-age, jazz, post-bop, jazz fusion, swing, hard bop, third stream, world music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator, spokesman, author
Instrument(s)Tenor saxophone, flute, oboe, bassoon, bamboo flute, shehnai, shofar, arghul, koto, piano, vocals.
Years active1955–2013
LabelsSavoy, Prestige, Verve, Riverside, Impulse, Atlantic, CTI, YAL

Although Lateef's main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, he also played oboe and bassoon, both rare in jazz, and non-western instruments such as the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul and koto. He is known for having been an innovator in the blending of jazz with "Eastern" music.[1] Peter Keepnews, in his New York Times obituary of Lateef, wrote that the musician "played world music before world music had a name".[2]

Lateef's books included two novellas titled A Night in the Garden of Love and Another Avenue, the short story collections Spheres and Rain Shapes, and his autobiography, The Gentle Giant, written in collaboration with Herb Boyd.[3] Along with his record label YAL Records, Lateef owned Fana Music, a music publishing company. Lateef published his own work through Fana, which includes Yusef Lateef's Flute Book of the Blues and many of his own orchestral compositions.