Today’s short post is all about the delightful latin jazz number you are hearing right now. “Yeh Yeh” was one of Mongo Santamaria’s best numbers, if not a hit. It was a hit two years later for Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames (With lyrics borrowed from Lambert, Hendricks and Ross). What I find interesting about “Yeh Yeh” is that its one of those rare examples of a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra exploring the world beyond the famous Philly communal home.
Pat Patrick played with Mongo Santamaria for one album, playing sax on this track and on “Watermelon Man”. Patrick also cowrote “Yeh Yeh” with Santamaria’s pianist Rogers Grant. I recall an conflict led Patrick to leave the Arkestra from reading Space is the Place: The Lives of Sun Ra by John F. Swzed, but I don’t remember what the incident was. I don’t own the book either. If Hymie’s ever starts to build up a selection of books about music, which is something we have considered, this is one of the first things I would want to have on the shelves.
Pat Patrick is an interesting figure in the Arkestra’s history, having performed with Sun Ra for more than four decades. He also played with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra and appeared on John Coltrane’s Africa/Brass. Most accounts of his personal life aren’t flattering. His relationship with his son Deval was in the spotlight many years later, when in 2007 Deval was elected the first African American governor of Massachusetts.