“True love is rare
Honest love is scarce
Emotional love is common”
--Yusef Lateef from The Blue Yusef Lateef acrostic poem
The only song I had been able to recall from the album while in San Francisco had been "Juba Juba,” but once I obtained the full CD, each of the eight compositions shared something brilliant with me. After listening to the second song, “Like It Is,” I immediately played it again. And then again. And again. Exactly how many times I listened to it nonstop I couldn’t say but the magic that had visited me in San Francisco returned and once more I was moved to lift my pen and write inside the flow of Lateef’s playing. The result this time was the poem “Like It Is Us,” later published in both Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black and in ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love.
How could I have known decades ago as a child that I was receiving one of the most priceless gifts anyone would ever give me when Yusef Lateef spoke light in the form of music directly to my soul through his saxophone and flute when I first heard his masterpiece of an album The Blue Yusef Lateef? There was no way for me to know it back then–– but I know it now and I am grateful for this opportunity to say Thank You.