Published Dec 23, 2013Grammy-winning American jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef has died at the age of 93 following a battle with prostate cancer.
The prominent artist was born William Emanuel Huddleston, and kicked off his career as Bill Evans. Then, after converting to Islam in 1950, he changed his name to Yusef Abdu Lateef.
Early on in his career, he toured with Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra. As he got older, his career evolved to include more Eastern influences, particularly on albums like Into Something and Eastern Sounds. This period in his career was said to have played a major role in the evolving sound of John Coltrane.
Lateef's music continued to evolve throughout his career, incorporating elements of soul and gospel music. In the '80s, he also experimented with new age music. In 1987, his release Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.