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Eastern Sounds: Rudy Van Gelder Remasters Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, July 18, 2006
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Plum Blossom 4:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Blues For The Orient 5:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ching Miau 3:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Don't Blame Me 4:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Love Theme From Spartacus 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Snafu 5:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Purple Flower 4:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Love Theme From The Robe 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Three Faces Of Balal 2:18$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Yusef Lateef Store


Image of album by Yusef Lateef


Image of Yusef Lateef


Yusef Lateef (b. 1920), a multi-instrumentalist who is equally skilled on tenor saxophone, flute, and oboe, is also a multiculturalist whose musical interests have long gone beyond jazz, a word he disdains. An innovator in mixing world music influences into jazz, Lateef is in his own musical category.

Originally an altoist, Lateef switched to tenor while in high school. He worked early ... Read more in Amazon's Yusef Lateef Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 18, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 1961
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Prestige
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This 1961 recording not only shows Lateef's interest in eastern music, but his skill in deftly weaving those sounds into jazz & blues.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
This is what I really appreciate about this beautiful album.
Some Angel's Trumpet
The remastering by Rudy Van Gelder(who is among the very best jazz recording engineers ever) is exceptional and brings this collection to spectacular fidelity.
Surprisingly, Lateef also includes tender readings of two movie love themes, "The Robe" and "Spartacus".

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Luhrs on September 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
One could argue that several of multi-reedsman Yusef Lateef's other albums are as strong as EASTERN SOUNDS; but it's no accident that this 1961 collection has consistently been hailed by both fans and critics as the supreme distillation of his unique and enduring vision - that of jazz as the true "world music."
Lateef's golden era, dating approximately from his first recordings as a leader circa 1956 through the end of his tenure at Impulse! Records a decade later, saw the gifted tenor saxophonist/flautist/oboist release a steady stream of top-quality albums, which over time tended less to break new ground than to reiterate the revolutionary message with which the artist had begun his career: that jazz was wide enough to incorporate anything, from anywhere, and still be jazz. Whether honking away on bizarre Mideastern horns, trying out overtly foreign time signatures and rhythms or employing a deflating balloon as an instrument, Lateef and his various combos produced some of the most exotic and yet most classical sounds of the era, and never more successfully than on EASTERN SOUNDS.
With a characteristic mixture of original compositions, jazz standards and movie themes (which, in lesser hands, might seem like a nod to commercial considerations), EASTERN SOUNDS is as kaleidoscopic in its source material as in its instrumentation, with both running the gamut from stately purist refinement to rousing eclecticism. That the album never for a moment ceases to be coherent, intelligent and beautiful is a testament to Lateef's musical and philosophical acumen. As he proved here and on so many other releases, jazz is indeed a universe, with room enough for all the spheres of sound. The fortunate listener could ask for no more capable pilot through its vastnesses than this eminently gifted, bridge-building visionary.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Some Angel's Trumpet on December 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Cross-cultural explorations of music usually turn up going one of two routes: the path of musical expansion/discovery that sometimes detours down the lane of genius or the bushy, thorny and (hopefully) killer troll-infested path of gross oversimplification of a culture and tepid romanticization of said culture. Thankfully, Lateef has clearly carefully studied, experimented with and ultimately trained himself in what he wishes to incorporate into the music he would eventually produce. And while I may be wrong with this, Lateef seems to not say "this music is the culture." Instead, he seems to be saying "maybe our imaginations are a bit too limited, cat. Maybe just maybe we can soak in some influences and make it ours." This is what I really appreciate about this beautiful album. It's all about taking jazz and exploring its musical capabilities by any means possible--even if that means incorporating some instruments and influences that the average jazzman wouldn't even dream about touching.

These words are almost immediately proven when one pops this glorious CD in and listen to the first track, "The Plum Blossom." The name alone fills my head with all kinds of beautiful imagery. The listener is introduced to this album with a quiet, peaceful riff of an Indian instrument called the "rahab." (Wikipedia it.) And if that wasn't enough, the listener is then treated to a subdued yet beautiful melody played by a Chinese instrument called the "xun." (Once again, Wikipedia it.) To remind us that this is jazz, it seems, a careful and meticulous piano comes into the mix and interplays with the xun in a way that seems that these two instruments hail from one musical tradition. +1 for Sir Lateef.

Afterwards, we're treated to some traditional jazz/blues with "Blues For the Orient.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alec Rojas VINE VOICE on January 26, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I am outclassed by this record, and for that reason alone, I will have to use context to explain why you must simply have to buy this record.

This record predates me almost twice over and still remains one of the most influential records of my life. When I learned how to play and write music, the melodic inventiveness of jazz became a playful, relentless abyss of knowledge. I was captivated by the technique and improvisation of these prodigies. But this record dropped into my life and, for the first time, everything made sense.

Eastern Sounds, made under the backdrop of recording ballads and exploring Eastern music, never ceases to disappoint me with the choices that are made by each musician. Lex Humphries, a drummer whose adventures in melody ranged from Coltrane to Sa Ra, spills rhythm like an overflown sink. Ernie Farrow muscles through ballads like "Don't Blame Me" effortlessly, reminding the listener that, yes, music is easy for these guys. Meanwhile Barry Harris never stops colouring the melodies with more melodies, unafraid to use the musician's best friend (As my old professor calls her, "Silence") to keep the band together. And Lateef, what to say of his versatility. Even while switching instruments to create drones and polytones off of his band mates, he remains endlessly endearing to the listener. The right balance of experimentation, restraint, and universal appeal.

With all the skill and technique in the world, sometimes a musician has to make the right choices. This is a record overflowing with them, cementing itself as one of my desert island records. Really, it doesn't get much better than this.
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