Yusef Lateef: An Artist’s Choice

Yusef Lateef was an amazing musician with an amazing range in terms of instruments and musical genres. He could play walkin’-the-bar, gutbucket tenor and then launch into fantastic Eastern or Middle-Eastern excursions on flute or oboe. Percussionist Adam Rudolph, who worked closely with Lateef since the late ‘80s, selects favorites from his long career in this 2012 Jazz Times column.

-Michael Cuscuna

Read the article…

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Accurate Descriptions of Instruments
  • Piccolos:no.
  • Flutes:what you are y'all like some of y'all are really weird and some of you guys are walking goddesses
  • Oboes:duck sounds, and tuning issues. also chill out ur not oboe god
  • Saxophones:You guys are really full of yourselves or emo.
  • Tenor saxophones:Weird. Wierdos.
  • Bari Saxophones:Even weirder than the tenors believe it or not
  • Bassoons:Either lil shits or angels blessed from the high heavens no in between
  • Bass Clarinets:Emo nerds. That's it.
  • Trumpets:The big ego thing is not a lie, you either know it or you are in denial.
  • French Horns:toot toot. hon hon hon baguette.
  • Trombones:A giant cult. Laughs at fart jokes, god complex.
  • Euphoniums:Y'all are fucking weird as hell.
  • Tubas:big toot
  • Percussion:sex jokes and rim shots

Bill Murray once took a cab and found out the driver played the saxophone but never got to practice because he worked 14-hour days. So…

BM: “I said, ‘When do you practice?’” 

Cabbie: “I drive 14 hours a day.”  

BM: “Well, where’s your sax?”  

Cabbie: “In the trunk.”  

BM: “Pull over and get in the back, I know how to drive a car. ”

“Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, which is a long way, we stopped and got barbecue. He [wound up] playing in what some would call a sketchy, weird place in Oakland at 2:15 in the morning. I was like, ‘Relax, man, you’ve got the [bleeping] horn! We’re cool!’ And it was great and it made for a beautiful night!”


Dear kids that are starting band for the first time.

Instruments don’t have gender. If you are a boy and you want to play flute. Do it. If you are a girl and you want to play tuba. Do it. No one can tell you that since you are a boy you have to play saxophone, trumpet or another instrument like that. Or since you are a girl you have to play flute, clarinet or some instrument like that. Play whatever you want to. No one can tell you other wise.