Music » Local Music

Stick these in your iPod

comment

Yusef Lateef made records in an era when "hip" was still an organic state, and Detroit was a cool city from the ground up instead of from the government on down. The tenor saxophonist-flutist's 1950s albums for Savoy and Prestige exude an almost intangible coolness, something you feel instead of hear; even better, you feel cooler just for having heard it. Steve Wood counts The Dreamer, Prayer to the East, 1984 and Cry! — Tender among his favorite Yusef Lateef recordings. "I wasn't around when Lateef used to play the Flame Show Bar or the World Stage," he says, referencing two Detroit jazz havens of the era. "But whenever I listen to Lateef's music, I'm reminded of sitting in the basement with my buddies, shooting pool and listening to these records. When we got together, we didn't listen to the Beatles. We listened to Lateef."

Steve Wood's top Lateef albums:

Prayer to the East (1957)

The Dreamer (1959)

Cry! — Tender (1959)

1984 (1965)

Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to jloftus@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.