Rain... Shapes

  • Rain... Shapes
  • Rain... Shapes
  • Rain... Shapes
  • Rain... Shapes
Conversations of Yusef Lateef and Albert Heath. (87 pg, paperback)

These pages came about during a concert tour of the United States, Europe, and Tunisia. I am grateful to Albert Heath (Kuumba) for helping to bring this book into being. I want to mention one quality of his that's important for the reader of these pages to remember. Kuumba is a remarkably honest man. In talking to him, as I did during the tour, I learned to respond to a mind that not only is original but insists on telling you exactly what it thinks.

In other words, this book is the result of an honest conversation between two men, who have lived their lives as professional musicians. The purpose of this book is to focus attention on the question, what contribution can the study of improvised music make to our understanding of human nature? In one or another manifestation, this question threads its way through contemporary Western thought. In an age that is self-conscious and concerned about how improvised music mirrors human mental processes or shapes the flow and character of thought, these are topics for study and speculation by music lovers and scholars, including those with a wide variety of interest, points of view, and intellectual backgrounds. Regardless of one's interest, this book is very important and it certainly deserves serious study.

I view improvised music as something more than an artistic form of communication through which the musician conveys his emotional moods and ideas to others. Many philosophers have attempted to find out if music has its origin in some "high source," which transcends human understanding. Some believe that moral overtones can be detected in melody and ethical significance in harmony, nuance and rhythm. Some believe that music affects human behavior. Some have decided that music can improve or degrade character. I conclude that this book represents important insights into the above notions. Also, it deals with other entities related to music.

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Yusef A. Lateef - Planet, Earth, 1986

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