Yusef Lateef: 1984 (1965) Impulse


Selection 1: Listen to the Wind (contains plink plonk)

Selection2: Soul Sister (more …umm …soulful)

Yusef Lateef (ts, ob, argol, shenai) Mike Nock (p) Reggie Workman (b) James Black (d) recorded “Pep’s Lounge”, Philadelphia, PA, February 24, 1965

Year: 1965

1965March 18, three members of The Rolling Stones  were fined five pounds for urinating on the wall of a London petrol station. The wall is later sold at auction to a fanatical Rolling Stones collector, saying it’s “more authentically rock and roll than any autograph” (if a bit more whiffy)


Recorded the same year as Lateef’s Psychicemotus, the ominously entitled 1984 track aroused a divergence of views between two Amazon reviewers, as either a profoundly moving and unsettling masterpiece of the avant-garde, or a collection of corny sound effects, take your choice. I like the selection Listen to the Wind, a superb example of the “plink plonk” school of avant-garde jazz, an atmospheric soundscape verging on the abstract without tipping over the edge into freefall. The New Zealand pianist Mike Knock seems quite attuned to this abstract mode, unlike some of  bop pianists who seemed not to know what to do, instead just noodling. Very nice late night listening, turn out the lights, turn on the lava lamp. It’s 1965. Or is it 1984?

As for the title 1984, not obviously related to George Orwell’s This is a warning, not an instruction manual authoritarian political dystopia. Perhaps like 2001 A Space Oddyssey (1968) it just seemed a suitably distant futuristic date. Seems as good a reason as any.



Vinyl: ABC Impulse AS84 stereo VAN GELDER 

Impulse can be a confusing label to understand the label variations, which are important because of the superb quality of the earlier pressings, and their subsequent deterioration from the Seventies on. 1984 was first published in 1965 on the original Impulse label (Black Ring/Orange), and reissued in 1968 on what was by then ABC Impulse (Red Ring/Black). This is the early ABC Impulse pressing ,label no.4 below,  in Blue Note currency, the Impulse equivalent of a Division of Liberty (Hat tip JoeL for the line of thought) The sound quality remains outstanding.

Originally I thought all the ABC Impulse were poor quality but once again, I was wrong. There is a subtle change in the label text between early good ABC Impulse and later not so good ABC Impulse, which carry a (c)1972 copyright designation. Always read the label.




“Interestingly” the B side is  re-mastered, matrix  B-2


Collector’s Corner

LJC introduces all-new emoticon-based reviews uniquely customized for the Jazz Collector. No language barrier, instant communication, complete mastery of all the essential dimensions for the serious collector, never mind the music, will it impress my mates?

Envy rating 1

A reissue on ABC Impulse, not so rare. The original Impulse  release is more enviable.


Its a nice record to have,  it sounds “absolutely fantastic” and Lateef has cult following (see “cool”)


The “sounds better in dark glasses” (strokes goatee, exhales yeah…) Its got lots of “plink plonk”- always cool.

Whatever next? This paves the way to all manner of time-saving shortcuts. No doubt you can think of more.

1 thought on “Yusef Lateef: 1984 (1965) Impulse

  1. This is one of the first 12 Lp’s my uncle gave me when i was 15. I still have it. it still moves me.

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