Tag Archives: lead sheet


Carrying on with my Yusef Lateef birthday celebration, here’s a blues by Yusef himself, as featured on the album of the same name by bassist Doug Watkins.  Watkins actually plays cello exclusively on the album, leaving the low end duties to Herman Wright.




Happy birthday to Yusef Lateef, who would have been 99 years old today.  Like many great musicians, his body of work seems to be timeless – his music sounds both traditional and modern, both familiar and foreign.  As a young man he made valuable contributions to the ouevres of jazz masters like Charles Mingus and Cannonball Adderley, and later became a venerated bandleader and educator himself.  His affinity for funk and gospel music helped produce some of the most sampled grooves in hip-hop, and he was known to his peers as an encyclopedia of jazz history and all manner of wind instruments.

Yusef was a prolific composer, but for his birthday post I’m sharing a dedication by pianist Barry Harris.


The Griot

This one comes from an album that’s well-represented on this site, Jackie McLean’s Fire and Love.  I lost or sold my copy of the CD, so without the liner notes for reference I had guessed that the composer of this tune was trombonist Steve Davis, but it turns out to be trumpeter Raymond Williams.  I should have known… he’s the author of my favorite songs on the record, Cryptography and Optimism.  Steve Davis contributed Excursions to the program.

The Griot