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Yusef Lateef and Adam Rudolph: The Garden of Collaboration

Yusef Lateef
Adam Rudolph and Yusef Lateef

In the minds of many jazz fans, the name Yusef Lateef belongs to a certain era. His name seems tied to names like Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley and Clark Terry-musicians who all shared the stage with him. He’s remembered as an upper-rung bopper and expansive thinker who knew his way around a tenor sax, but whose odd behavior for the time included oboes and reed flutes on bandstands and eastern scales and modes in bop tunes.

The scholarly, avuncular Lateef of the present-just retired this year after more than 60 years of performance and many years as a teacher at Amherst College-has lasted long enough to see his world-music ideas slide into the jazz mainstream, but he’s hardly willing to ease into history.

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