Something Else

Autophysiopsychic Partnership

Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet

Something Else
Yusef Lateef
Kenneth Barron
Albert Heath (Kuumba)
Robert Cunningham

Out of the modern age of artistic experssion, many with individual talents have sprung. Pop music, pop art, cybernetics, electronics, writing have all produced their phenomenon-taking something from the old, adding it to the new and then cultivating its own. Each with its following, seriously adapting, accepting and enjoying. And so it is with Mr. Yusef Lateef, the man with his own inventive, exploring talents. A musician’s musician, Mr. Lateef has among his many accomplishments mastered expressions in improvisations, technically and esthetically.

It was in Detroit where Mr. Lateef began his musical career while a senior at the Miller High School. Upon completion of High School, he toured the country with several bands, namely, Luck Millinder, Hot Lips Page, Dizzy Gillespie and others. He later returned to Detroit and enrolled at the Wayne State Universtiy where he studied music for four years, at which time he organized the Yusef Lateef Quintet. The group successfully performed a three-year engagment at Klein’s Show Bar.

Acting upon advice of Dr. Valter Poole (assistant conductor for the Detroit Symphony), he left Wayne to study under the masters. He attended the Teal School of Music for two years studying flute and oboe. Mr. Lateef studied under masters Charles Mills (composition), Harold Jones (flute), Harry Schulman (oboe), George Dufalo (theory), John Wummer (flute). Today Mr. Lateef has a B.A. from the Manhattan School of Music where he majored in flute, an M.A. from the same school in music education. Currently he is an Associate Professor of Music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Written by Yusef Lateef, Kenneth Barron, Albert Heath (Kuumba) and Robert Cunningham. Published by the Autophysiopsychic Partnership, P.O. Box 1110, Peter Stuyvesant Station, New York, New York 10009.

Copyright © 1973 by the Autophysiopsychic Partnership. All rights reserved. First printing 1973. Printed in the United States of America

Harlem Jive

Autophysiopsychic Partnership

Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet

by Robert Cunningham

Nigger you ask me if I know how to live!!! Is the Pope Catholic? Is a pig pork? Baby-sweets I’ve been living high on the hog since before you was knee-high-to-a grasshopper. Let Sugar daddy pull your coat to the happnins of the hour. A deuce a bells ago me and my main dog, a fine banana from the windy-city split for the apple in a blood red on red LD and if I’m lyin I’m flyin and Mona Lisa was manchild. We went straight to soulville. Lo and beho the first thing we peeped was my main man Slick Sam the black gonga man. He was clean as a chittlin and feelin’ no pain. The dude laided some green on us that was so clean and mean made you wanta screem – slap ya granmanny – somewhere there’s music how high’s the moon. My man put some down platters on the box and we listen to the voice of my master, Charlie Parker, “Autumn in New York,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Nows the Time,” OOO Baby OOO Baby Feels so good – Feels so good. Me, he and my lady started to move and groove, dinner at the “Y” Why not? the fountain of her youth. We just keep on keepin on 1-in-1, 2-in-2, 88 you 8 and I 8. Let it roll, let it roll, all night long. Don’t knock it someneelce will rock it. Try it you’ll like it OOOOPs I ate the hose’s thing.

Jive is a form of language peculiar to Blacks of the ghetto. Jive goes back to early slavery, to the people whose native languages had been taken away from them. Jive was our new language, jive was a code language, a way to speak to your brother and not be understood by the slave master, the overseer. Jive is a way to convert a cold rhythmless language (English), add some sing-song to it, add some rhythm, make it pulsate as do the native tongues of Mother Africa. Jive was a way to communicate when the police were on the scene and all you were doing was trying to get the house rent have a little fun and fry some fish on Saturday night. Jive was just away to tell your lady you loved her without sounding like Clark Gable. Jive was an attempt to have a language of our own, one that was not spoken by the white world. When jive terminology comes into common usage by white society, the terms used are rejected by the Black community; they are no longer secretive and therefore not as useful. By the time whites “get hip” to jive jargon it never seems to retain the meaning it had in the Black community. Take the word “ofay” which is used to mean white is now used by whites to refer to themselves. Very few whites realize the source or implications of this word. Ofay is a pig-latin term whose root is the word foe. When foe is translated into pig-latin we remove the f and add it to the end and add a, the result being oefa or ofay.

I was a heavy user of jive in my teens. I found it to be a language in which I took much time, thought and pride. But upon reaching adulthood and faced with the problem of being understood in the business world I was at a loss for words, words that I felt were appropriate. Since I have become aware of the need for precise communication in the business world I have been exerting a conscious effort to develop good English. I have a strong desire to be able to speak and write with clarity and precision. You can have all that jive.

Dr. Hip Slick: On Hipness

Autophysiopsychic Partnership

Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet

Dr. Hip Slick: On Hipness
By Yusef Lateef

Ladies and Gentleman

There is a common impression that everything we think is hip, is valid. It is felt by many that to be hip is a fact of life. In the main, validity has its into it-ness. Almost all our common hipnesses are downnesses or are capable of being down at some time or another. As a rule that which is down or hip is that which is consciously present to our minds. Few of us ever ask ourselves, for example, what does it mean to be hip. Yet we feel, when uptight, that a hip solution is the answer even if we are out to lunch at the moment. And this concept is usually not a cop-out.

Bet let us imagine some insistent lame who whatever rap we lay on him continues to demand a reason for the reason. We must sooner or later, and probably before very long, be driven to a wig-out point where we cannot conceive any further reason, and where it becomes almost certain that any further rap would be an over-rap. Starting with the down to earth raps of daily life we can move from rap to rap until we come to some fact of life, which seems luminously down, and is not itself capable of being anything but evident downness. Beyond that there seems to be no further hip regress – only lame game. The hipness is constantly used in our downness, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.

Self evident hipness however, is not confined to those entities of thought which are incapable of proof. When a certain number of hip concepts have been admitted to the mind, the rest can be deduced from them; the downness deduced are often just as self-evidently-hip as those that showed without proof. All hipness, moreover, can be deduced from the university of life, yet the simple university of life such as it is, living, thinking and doing are just the phenomena of hipology.

It would seem, also, though this is more disputable, that there are some self-evident ethical hipnesses, such as the fact that we ought to pursue what is mellow.

It should be checked out that, in all cases of most-mellows, particular deals, dealing with familiar mellows are more evident than “most-mellows.” For example, the law of hipness states that nothing can both have a certain property of hipness and not have it. This is evident as soon as it is checked out, but then again perceptivity depends on what one is working out of.

In addition to most-mellows the other kind of self-evident hipnesses are those immediately derived from down to earthness. We will call down to earthness “truths of perception,” and the judgements of right-on-ness. But here a certain amount of dig activity is required in getting at the precise nature of the mellows that are self-evident hipnesses. The actual sense-data is either mellow or rig. Thus whatever self-evident hipnesses may be coped from our senses must be different from the sense-data from which they are coped.

It would seem that there are two kinds of self-evident hipnesses, though in deep analysis there is only one. First there is the kind which simply asserts the existence of hipness with out really being down. The other arises out of natural downness which is a fact of life.

Another class of intuitive hipness, analogous to pure downness, are judgments of memory or, in other words, what has gone down. There is some rig of confusion as to the nature of what has gone down, owing to the fact that what has gone down as an object is apt to be accompanied by an image of the object, and yet the image cannot be what has gone down. You dig?

Ode To Pieter Bruegel

Autophysiopsychic Partnership

Writings of the Yusef Lateef Quartet

by Yusef Lateef

Perhaps? born in Breda, directed by the

parish priest,

Pieter Breugel, artist with creative


“The Procession to Cavalry” his


Speaks prelude to public execution!

Strung up nerves, deeply moving

scene of Flemish working men,

Nature plays her part in the human


The thistle, seen in isolation from the vast

elaborately constructed picture to

which it belongs…

How well this minor detail summarizes

and symbolizes the conception

permeating the entire work,

It seems to reveal in a small compass the

mystery of all plant life.

The eye is led across a maze of colorful

incidents locked within the far

flung triangle of a unitary viewpoint

Skillfully portraying his accumulated

knowledge of man and nature,

concepts and figures: masterful

symmetry; esthetic realisms,

Breugel, whom the muses did graciously


How discreetly the local color sets off the

bright red of the soldiers’ garb,

painted by the master’s hand,

How remarkable is his handling of the

soil, spangled with patches of green,

brown and pink: an obliteration of

nature… and visual rapture.

Native crowd, tiny figures agitated,

moving in all directions, filling the

picture with vibrant life,

A stormy sky!… a bird of ill omen is

wheeling, denoting strife,

Carrion crows high in the air suggest the

vastness of space,

Clouds express poetic and poignant


Artistic passion and perfection was in his


…Peter Bruegel… Champion of

artistic expression, versed in the

anatomy of nature and man.

Copyright © 1973 by the Autophysiopsychic Partnership