The Centaur and the Phoenix

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stacia Proefrock
From his first explosion of recordings in the mid-'50s, Yusef Lateef was a player who was always gently stretching the boundaries of his music to absorb techniques, new rhythms, and new influences from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Centaur and the Phoenix, however, takes the risks and the innovations that Lateef was known for, and expands them in a number of different directions all at once, leading to an album that bursts with new ideas and textures, while remaining accessible, and above all, beautiful. Lateef seems eager here to take the next step musically by breaking the mold of his previous albums. While he is a gifted composer, only a third of the songs ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stacia Proefrock
From his first explosion of recordings in the mid-'50s, Yusef Lateef was a player who was always gently stretching the boundaries of his music to absorb techniques, new rhythms, and new influences from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Centaur and the Phoenix, however, takes the risks and the innovations that Lateef was known for, and expands them in a number of different directions all at once, leading to an album that bursts with new ideas and textures, while remaining accessible, and above all, beautiful. Lateef seems eager here to take the next step musically by breaking the mold of his previous albums. While he is a gifted composer, only a third of the songs featured here are his work: the rhythm-driven flute showcase "Apathy," the gentle, nocturnal tribute to his daughter "Iqbal" and the tone poem "The Philanthropist." The best of the rest come from Kenny Barron, who was only 17 at the time, and Charles Mills, a contemporary classical composer who drew the album's self-titled highlight from two of his symphonies, the first paying tribute to Crazy Horse and the other to Charlie Parker. Providing the structure and textures needed for these intricate compositions was Lateef's largest ensemble to date. Accustomed to working in a small-group format, he makes managing a band of nine sidemen seem easy. Several Lateef regulars are here, including Barry Harris, Richard Williams, and Ernie Farrow, but the inclusion of forward-thinking musicians like Joe Zawinul also help take this album to a higher level. The greatest miracle of this recording, however, is the balance that Lateef achieves with this large group -- they are always an asset, never a distraction, and even as they come on strong and powerful on songs like "Apathy," or Barron's arrangement of "Ev'ry Day I Fall in Love" he remains in charge, somehow making his delicate flute or oboe, tenor sax or argol rise above it all, spilling out brightness, grace and joy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/17/1992
  • Label: Ojc
  • UPC: 025218672122
  • Catalog Number: 721
  • Sales rank: 97,652

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Revelation (6:02)
  2. 2 Apathy (5:25)
  3. 3 Ev'ry Day (I Fall in Love) (6:59)
  4. 4 The Centaur and the Phoenix (5:37)
  5. 5 Iqbal (4:51)
  6. 6 Summer Song (5:26)
  7. 7 The Philanthropist (4:02)
  8. 8 Jungle Fantasy (2:42)
  9. 9 Titora (2:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yusef Lateef Primary Artist, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Argol
Curtis Fuller Trombone
Barry Harris Piano
Joe Zawinul Piano
Clark Terry Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ernie Farrow Bass
Tate Houston Baritone Saxophone
Lex Humphries Drums
Garvin Masseaux Percussion
Josea Taylor Bassoon
Ben Tucker Bass
Roger Sanders Percussion
Richard Gene Williams Trumpet
Technical Credits
Dave Brubeck Composer
Curtis Fuller Contributor
Barry Harris Contributor
Chris Albertson Liner Notes
Joe Zawinul Contributor
Clark Terry Contributor
Ernie Farrow Contributor
Ray Fowler Engineer
Tate Houston Contributor
Lex Humphries Contributor
Orrin Keepnews Producer
Garvin Masseaux Contributor
Bill Stoddard Engineer
Josea Taylor Contributor
Ben Tucker Contributor
Gary Hobish Remastering
Ken Deardoff Cover Design
Roger Sanders Contributor
Richard Gene Williams Contributor
John Levy Producer
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