The World at Peace
An epic work that straddles the fields of jazz tone poetry and world music references, the two-CD album, The World at Peace (YAL/Meta 753; 54:01 and 50:49) is encouraging proof that ambitious, non-commercial jazz projects still exist-and must exist. Recorded live at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles in June 1996, the project is the brainchild of 77-year-old saxophonist Yusef Lateef and percussionist Adam Rudolph, both of whom have experimented in the fertile ground common to jazz and non-western traditions. That duality is laid out early, between the adjacent pieces "Coltrane Remembered" and "Africa 35." A dozen musicians filter in and out of the mix, there is a loose, rambling Mingus-y air to the occasion, and improvisation is an operative norm. It's jazz, yet, as a package, it's something else again, something from a dreamy netherworld where specifics are fuzzy and feelings count for a lot.