Yusef Lateef – The Doctor Is In…And Out – Atlantic (1976)/ Pure Pleasure – vinyl

by | Oct 17, 2016 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

One of the best Lateef sessions.

Yusef Lateef – The Doctor Is In…And Out – Atlantic SD 1685/ Pure Pleasure remastered vinyl (UK) [7/15/16] ****: 

This 1976 original release was one of the best Lateef sessions by the jazz experimenter with many different styles, moods, instruments and vibes. On this session he plays both alto and tenor saxes, oboe, flute and bamboo flute. Other of the 13 contributing sidemen include Kenny Barron on keyboards and sometimes Ron Carter on bass. Background vocals on a few of the eight tracks are by Cissy Houston and Judy Clay.

The one track I think I will skip on the next playing is the five-minute-long “Technological Homosapien” because it has a long narration by Robert Cunningham and I prefer straight instrumental jazz. There is a section of straight instrumental improvisation in the middle, but not enough to interest me.

The second track on Side A, “Hellbound,” is most interesting with its percussion ostinato – used on several of the tracks. The main solos feature two reed instruments, but I was unable to define them.  The third track is mostly instrumental, but towards the end has some vocals in a foreign language – perhaps Spanish. The first track on Side B, “Mississippi Mud”, is naturally a bit funkier, with a great sax solo.  The next track: “Mushmouth”, clearly accounts for its title. There is some unusual guitar work by Billy Butler, with a sort of braying quality to it. Like the track before it, it fades out slowly at the end.  Lateef always works to vary the moods and textures thruout an album.

On “Street Musicians” the violin contribution of David Nadien is brought in, along with SFX recordings of street sounds. This sounds like an on-the-spot recording of a street corner musician, and ends with the sound of someone putting some money in his pot. The closing track, “In a Little Spanish Town”, sounds like an old 78 rpm (with it’s usually narrow frequency response) of the tune sung by a mail trio or quartet, with Lateef doing some wonderful improvisations after each phrase of the song. One even hears the scratch of the original 78 thruout the track. The rest of the tracks are quite silent as to surface noise. The sleeve carries a short story by Lateef about a hungry black child and his mother who has stolen cereal and milk so he can eat.

The Improvisers 7:54
Hellbound 6:37
Mystique 7:37
Mississipi Mud 2:51
Mushmouth 6:30
Technological Homosapien     5:16
Street Musicians (Violin – David Nadien)    2:54
In A Little Spanish Town (T’was On A Night Like This)    3:23

—John Henry

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