Sorrow indeed to hear of the passing of Frederick Dewayne (Freddie) Hubbard yesterday, at the age of 70, after a month in a coma following a heart attack. Mr. Hubbard had never really quite recovered from a 1992 injury that sidelined him, although he had been playing more frequently recently. He got to record one last album, that I have not heard.
Signed glossy of Freddie Hubbard from Stein on Vine's history wall
If you don't know Freddie Hubbard's music, his most famous records were probably "Open Sesame" (which also features Tina Brooks in fine form) and "Ready for Freddie." My personal favorite is "Hub-Tones," from 1962, probably because I've owned it the longest. A gem to have is "The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big Four," on Pablo, from 1980. And his swan song, issued just last summer, was "On the Real Side," which was featured on the covers of both Jazz Times and Down Beat.
A live experience that's much overlooked these days is 1977's "VSOP: The Quintet" (which you'll find listed under Herbie Hancock's name on iTunes, although it's really a confederation of equals—aficionados will recognize the lineup as Miles Davis's second quintet, with Hubbard, whose virtuosity better matches that of the others, replacing Miles). It's a live double album featuring Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums, Herbie Hancock on keyboards, and Wayne Shorter on saxophone. A worthy addition to any post-bop jazz collection (the album is the one that starts with "One of a Kind" and features the debut of Ron Carter's famous "Third Plane").
Freddie Hubbard in Rochester, N.Y. in 1976 by Tom Marcello
Featured Comment by Doug Howk: "'Red Clay' is my personal favorite of Freddie's. Along with Miles, he was a true innovator with his trumpet playing, as leader & composer. Its another sad day for lovers of the music that is Jazz."
Featured Comment by Howard French: "Another vote here for 'Red Clay.' Not only is FH in amazing form, as is Joe Henderson, maintaining a fantastic groove throughout, but Freddie somehow even manages to overcome Creed Taylor's production. The mere mention of this recording for me conjures long, hazy, head-nodding car rides with friends in the '70s."
Featured Comment by Huw: "Can I add Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage' to the list as one of Freddie's best recordings? And on a more straight-ahead note, 'The Body and the Soul' and 'The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard,' both on Impulse. Freddie Hubbard was one of those rare musicians who could make you laugh out loud with the sheer force of his playing. Fabulous."
Featured Comment by Ann Patterson: "I saw Freddie in the mid '80s on a VSOP reunion tour. I still remember it as one of the best concerts I've ever been to. An amazing artist."