Yusef Lateef

Yusef Lateef has long had an inquisitive spirit and he was never just a bop or hard bop soloist. Lateef, who does not care much for the term "jazz," has consistently created music that has stretched (and even broken through) boundaries. A superior tenor saxophonist with a soulful sound and impressive technique, by the 1950s, Lateef was one of the top flutists around. He also developed into the best jazz soloist to date on oboe, was an occasional bassoonist, and introduced such instruments as the argol (a double clarinet that resembles a bassoon), shanai (a type of oboe), and different types of flutes. Lateef played "world music" before it had a name and his output was much more creative than much of the pop and folk music that passed under that label in the '90s.