Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Yusef Lateef/Adam Rudolph: Beyond the Sky

Yusef Lateef is usually seen as a jazz player who has integrated African and Asian music into his work instead of a world-music pioneer. Perhaps this is a matter of timing: When Don Cherry and others made their pivotal recordings in the early and mid-’70s, the multi-instrumentalist was making a string of eclectic Atlantic recordings that obscured his accomplishments in this area. Still, in recent years, Lateef’s collaboration with percussionist Adam Rudolph provides a bright backlight on his previous work, as well as confirming his ongoing artistic vitality.

Beyond the Sky is a thoroughly collaborative effort. Rudolph penned three of the program’s 10 compositions and cowrote an additional three with Lateef. Even though the instrumentation ranges from indigenous flutes and drums to electro-acoustic computer rigs, and musicians are platooned at an almost track-by-track pace, the program has a cohesive, unforced, contemplative carriage. Arguably, the program has a somewhat limited spectrum of expression, as it hovers above the somnambular and sufficiently below the simmering. Still, an impressive array of musicians-trombonist Joseph Bowie and bass player Mark Helias being the best known-contribute engaging performances.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published