Thursday, January 18, 2007

Yusef Lateef's Detroit (Atlantic, 1969)

This is an R&B and funk themed album loosely based on Yusef Lateef's old stomping grounds of Detroit, Michigan. There are fairly large ensembles at play here, running from eight to ten musicians with a string quartet in tow on a few tracks that give a glossy sheen to the proceedings that would make the fellow Detroiters at Motown Records proud. Lateef stands out on tenor saxophone and flute with a three-strong trumpet section riffing behind him and Eddie Gale sparking off some fine electric guitar. Ironically, the highpoint of this funky album is the lone acoustic track, the standard "That Lucky Old Sun" which features Lateef's deep, dark hued tenor spinning tales over piano, bass and drums.

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