Gilles Peterson‘s Arc label is reviving on vinyl an overlooked funky jazz classic from the late 60s: Yusef Lateef’s Detroit Latitude 42° 30′ Longitude 83°, which was first issued by Atlantic Records in 1969. The new 180g pressing will be remastered from the original analogue master by veteran audio engineer Bernie Grundman and will include freshly written sleeve notes by Maxine Gordon, wife of the legendary bebop saxophonist Dexter Gordon, who knew Lateef well.

Though he was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Yusef Lateef was raised in the “Motor City” and regarded as one of Detroit’s finest jazz musicians. A multi-reed player who could alternate between flute, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone and also play the piano and the koto, a Japanese stringed instrument, Lateef was one of jazz’s first multi-culturalists, blending western and eastern music together to create the first example of what would be later called “world music.” He began his career at Savoy Records in the late 1950s before making his mark at the Riverside, Prestige, and Impulse! labels with his unique approach to jazz.

Yusef Lateef’s Detroit Latitude 42° 30′ Longitude 83° is a forgotten masterpiece that captures Lateef at the beginning of a fruitful period at Atlantic Records under the aegis of producer Joel Dorn and features high calibre sidemen in the shape of guitarist Eric Gale, bassist Chuck Rainey, percussionist Ray Barretto, and master drummer Bernard Purdie. With its marked funk, blues, and soul tinges, the album reflected the influence of the counterculture zeitgeist of the late 60s and showed Lateef moving into a more gritty, urban phase that coincided with the rise of the Black Power movement, widespread social unrest, and public disenchantment with the Vietnam War.

Yusef Lateef’s Detroit Latitude 42° 30′ Longitude 83° will be available from April 15th on Arc Records