Biography
Renaissance man Dr. Yusef Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 9th, 1920. At the age of 5 he moved with his family to Detroit. Growing up in Detroit he came in contact and forged friendships with many a giant of jazz such as Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, and Donald Byrd. By the time he graduated from high school he was a proficient tenor saxophonist. He started soon after graduation playing professionally and touring with different swing orchestras among them those of Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge and Lucky Millender. In 1949 he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra (using the stage name William Evans), and stayed with them for one year. In 1950 he returned to Detroit and to enrolled in the Wayne State University’s Music Department and studying composition and flute. During his tenure at Wayne State he converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusef Lateef. He stayed in Detroit until 1960 and during this decade he led his own quintet for a while, recorded his first album as a leader for the Savoy label, Stable Mates, and furthered his musical education by studying oboe with Ronald Odemark of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

In 1960 he returned to New York and enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music to further his studies in flute and music education. Over the next 10 years he recorded several records as a leader and played on many more under other musicians’ leadership, toured with Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Babatunde Olatunji and obtained a BA in music and a MA in music education. Among the highlights of his recording career from this decade are Eastern Sounds, Live at Pep’s and The Golden Flute. One can already hear on these records the incorporation of different eastern musical influences into the more straight-ahead jazz idiom. These albums also are one of the first places one can hear Dr Lateef play different reed instruments including the bassoon, bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, and taiwan koto. During the 70s he taught courses in autophysiopsychic music (which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self) at the music theory department in the Manhattan School of Music. From 1972 till 1976, he was an associate professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

In 1975 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Education from University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA and he continues to be a professor there. Suite 16 or Blues Suite, Dr. Lateef’s first work for large orchestra, premiered in 1969 at the Georgia Symphony Orchestra in Augusta and it was performed in 1970 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Meadowbrook Music Festival, and recorded by the WDR Orchestra in Cologne. The NDR Radio Orchestra of Hamburg commissioned him to compose the tone poem “Lalit,” in 1974. He also recorded his Symphony No.1 with the same orchestra later that year. He has toured the world with his ensembles and other musicians performing in concert halls and music festivals.

The recorded highlight of this stage of his career is Autophysiopsychic. In the 80s Dr. Lateef spent 4 years at the Center for Nigerian Cultural Studies at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria researching the Fulani flute. In 1987 he won a Grammy for Yusef Lateef’s Little Symphony.

In 1992 he established his own label YAL. In 1993 Yusef Lateef’ composed his most ambitious work to date, The African American Epic Suite, a four-movement work for quintet and orchestra dedicated to 400 years of African American history. It premiered with the WDR orchestra and later was also performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Among his lesser known accomplishments are 3 works of fiction; A Night in the Garden of Love and two collections of short stories, Spheres and Rain Shapes.

Dr. Lateef continues to perform, record and expand the boundaries of music.

Born
October 9, 1920

Discography

Related Yusef Lateef Articles
Eastern Sounds
Yusef Lateef: Roots & Routes
Psychicemotus
Yusef Lateef: Jazz 'Round the World
The Golden Flute
The Last Savoy Sessions
The Man With The Big Front Yard

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Comment by Edie2k2 on April 27, 2010 at 6:08pm

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Introspection

Spotlight | Maze




The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 


As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.

 

The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
   
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
   
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)
 



Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Sounds

  1. play Maze — 03 Feel That You're Feelin'
  2. play Maze — 04 Somebody Else's Arms
  3. play Maze — 04 Southern Girl
  4. play Maze — Can't Get Over You
  5. play Maze — Golden Time Of Day
  6. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  7. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  8. play Norman Brown — Still
  9. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  10. play miles 2
  11. play miles 3
  12. play miles 4
  13. play miles 5
  14. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  15. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  16. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  17. play Mongo — 02. Afro Blue

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪

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