Tenors of Yusef Lateef and Rene McLean

  • Tenors of Yusef Lateef and Rene McLean
"Aesthetic movements of sound filtered through and focused on psyche-moral. Themes, Humility, Virtue, Goodwill, Altruism,..." - Yusef Lateef

Yusef Lateef – Tenor Saxophone
Rene McLean – Tenor Saxophone
Andrew Hollander - Piano
Avery Sharpe – Bass
Kamal Sabir – Drums

Produced by Yusef Lateef
Original Recording – Norman Blain
Mix and Mastering – Norman Blain
Digital Mastering by Jim Hemingway
Recorded at Moonstar Media,
May 1993 - Leverett, MA
Art direction and cover design by Ralph Seaman

"Dr. Yusef Lateef may not play the music called jazz (if you look up the word in the dictionary it means vulgar music, and Dr. Lateef doesn't play or write anything "vulgar") but the music he does play with his quartet - Avery Sharpe, bass; Andrew Hollander, piano; Kamal Sabir, drums - is full of spirit, sophistication, soul, and movement. The quartet is augmented on this date to include tenor saxophonist Rene McLean. The pairing of these two giant tenor players - in stature as well as musicality - is a force of nature to be reckoned with. The set begins with the angular "Because They Love Me," which features the pair engaging in harmonic dialogue across middle and upper registers, entwining and trading solos before Sharpe turns the entire piece into a modal number in his solo kicking out open tone drones that leave Mr. Hollander to reconstruct the harmonic inside his own break. The mid-tempo numbers echo the blues in feeling and intensity, such as "Signs," but their lines are structured in such a way they extend through the end of an interval and force the player to return, but not until after he's turned it all around. With a call and response soloing cadence, the blues and gospel feelings at the heart of the music are never completely buried under the fiery pyrotechnics of the musicianship. Finally, the set closes with the popping, smoking "Altruism"; here is deep swinging soul undercut tonally by the intricate, staccato melody that Lateef has constructed from a series of eights and restrained pitches. The solos circle around the theme, and eventually extend into an all out exuberance of tenor cacophony. Though they are all interesting, Tenors is one of the finer records on Lateef's label."
- Thom Jurek, allmusic.com

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