Yusef Lateef Plays Ballads

  • Yusef Lateef Plays Ballads
"These original ballads composed by Yusef Lateef and performed with the trio composed of Avery Sharp, Tom McClung and Stephen McCraven are in essence stylized forms of solo songs. And in all candor, it can be said that these ballads are narratives told in melodic, harmonic and rhythmical verse. These narratives deal with a variety of concepts, feelings and realizations as are reflected in the titles of each song. As well, the structuring process of each song form embodied a variety of elements not previously employed by the composer. The songs have artistic elaboration and poetic refinement, which deals with both conceptual subjects that are empirical and philosophical subjects. The forms of the songs are free combinations of the strophic and through composed types, ornamented with lyrical, creative and masterful improvisation by each musician, thus justifying the title "Ballads."
- Yusef Lateef

"This collection of ballads by Dr. Yusef Lateef, musical gentle giant and unrecognized lyrical genius of the late-20th century, breaks the boundary between the poetic and the musical. The elegance and spiritual truth in these ballads comes shining through in how deliberately this band works with Lateef to let the songs speak for themselves without unnecessary embellishment. The result is one Lateef's most aesthetically beautiful outings, and that's saying plenty given his body of work."
- Thom Jurek, allmusic.com

Yusef Lateef – Tenor Saxophone
Stephen McCraven – Drums
Tom McClung – Piano
Avery Sharpe – Bass
Adam Rudolph – Percussion

Produced by Yusef Lateef
Original Recording – Norman Blain
Mix and Mastering – Norman Blain
Digital Mastering by Toby Mountain
Recorded at Moonstar Media
December 1992, Leverett, MA
Art direction and cover design by Ralph Seaman
Cover Photo by Hans Harzhelm

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Yusef Lateef Plays Ballads


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