The African American Epic Suite

  • The African American Epic Suite
  • The African American Epic Suite
  • The African American Epic Suite
  • The African American Epic Suite
  • The African American Epic Suite
  • The African American Epic Suite
One of the most intriguing and original jazz instrumentalists, Yusef Lateef strives to break down the walls that separate (or compartmentalize) musical idioms. This said, THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EPIC SUITE is congruent with the notion that music is a combination of the world's many so-called "styles." On this early-'90s release, Lateef seeks to show through musical composition the history of African Americans.

Composed in four movements called "The African as Non-American," "Transmutation," "Love for All," and "Freedom," Lateef uses an almost literary technique to outline the plight, woe, and jubilation of Black Americans. The suite opens with soft, jungle-like rumblings and essentially progresses and evolves through many stages of change. In the end, we hear oppression turn to love then to enlightenment then to liberty. Performing with the Cologne Radio Orchestra of Germany and Eternal Wind (Ralph Jones, Federico Ramos, Adam Rudolph, Charles Moore) this album boldly attempts to bring to life the struggles and joys of Black America through rich orchestration, ominous percussive effects, and Lateef's inimitable reed work.

“The African-American Epic Suite… lines up with the most ambitious orchestrated / improvised works of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and John Carter.”
Greg Burk, LA Weekly

Yusef Lateef – Tenor Saxophone, Germanic Flute, Alto Flute, Bamboo Flutes, Algaita, Shenai, Bamboo Flutes, Indian Temple Flute and Moan Flute

Eternal Wind:
Adam Rudolph – Hand Drums and Percussion
Ralph Jones – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Hichiriki, Bass Clarinet, Bamboo Flutes
Federico Ramos – Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Gimbre
Charles Moore – Flugelhorn, Shofar, Dumbek, Conch Shells

Cologne Radio Orchestra - directed by David de Villiers

Recorded at WDR Cologne November 1993

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The African American Epic Suite

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