Red Clay: Original Recording (Remastered)
Freddie Hubbard: Bio
Frederick Dwayne Hubbardwas born April 7th 1938, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Freddie played mellophone and then trumpet in his school band at Arsenal Technical High School. He was introduced to jazz by his older brother, Earmon Jr., a pianist who was a Bud Powell devotee. Trumpeter Lee Katzman, former sideman with Stan Kenton, recommended that he begin studying at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music with Max Woodbury, the principal trumpeter of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Freddie worked at the famous "George's Bar" on Indiana Avenue with a band of fellow teenagers called the Jazz Contemporaries which was formed and administered by bassist
Larry Ridley. The band included saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding, pianist Walt Miller (later replaced by Al Plank) and drummer Paul Parker. Parker later became the drummer along with organist Melvin Rhyne working and recording with the Wes Montgomery Trio. Freddie's first recording session, as a teenager, was the album entitled "The Montgermery Brothers and Five Others".
Moving to New York in 1958 at the age of 20, he quickly astonished fans and critics alike with the depth and maturity of his playing working with veteran jazz artists Philly Joe Jones (1958-59, 1961), Sonny Rollins (1959), Slide Hampton (1959-60), J.J. Johnson (1960), Eric Dolphy, and Quincy Jones, with whom he toured Europe (1960-61). He was barely 22 when he recorded Open Sesame, his solo debut for Blue Note Records (on the recommendation of Miles Davis), in June 1960. That album, featuring Tina Brooks and McCoy Tyner, set the stage for one of the more meteoric careers in jazz. Within the next 10 months, Hubbard recorded his second album, Goin' Up, with Hank Mobley and McCoy Tyner, and a third, Hub Cap, with Julian Priester and Jimmy Heath. Four months later, in August 1961, he made what many consider his masterpiece, Ready for Freddie, which was also his first Blue Note collaboration with Wayne Shorter. That same year, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (replacing Lee Morgan). Freddie had quickly established himself as an important new voice in jazz. While earning a reputation
as a hard-blowing young lion, he had developed his own sound, distancing himself from the early influence of Clifford Brown and Miles Davis and won Down Beat's "New Star" award on trumpet.
He remained with Blakey until 1964, leaving to form his own small group, which over the next few years featured Kenny Barron and Louis Hayes. Throughout the 60s he also played in bands led by others, including Max Roach. Hubbard was also a significant presence on Herbie Hancock's Blue Note recordings beginning with the pianist's debut as a leader, Takin' Off, and continuing on Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage. He was also featured on four classic, groundbreaking 1960s sessions: Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, and John Coltrane's Ascension during that time.
Freddie achieved his greatest popular success in the 1970s with a series of crossover albums on Atlantic and CTI Records. His early 70s jazz albums for CTI, Red Clay, First Light and Straight Life were particularly well received and First Light won a Grammy Award. He returned to the acoustic, hard bop arena with his 1977 tour with the V.S.O.P. quintet, which teamed him with the members of the 1960s Miles Davis Quintet; Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, and Ron Carter. In the 80s Hubbard was again leading his own jazz groups, attracting very favorable notices for his playing at concert halls and festivals in the USA, Europe, and Japan, often in the company of Joe Henderson, playing a repertory of hard-bop and modal-jazz pieces. He also collaborated with fellow trumpet legend Woody Shaw for a series of albums for the Blue Note and Timeless labels. An exceptionally talented virtuoso performer, Hubbard's rich full tone is never lost, even when he plays dazzlingly fast passages. As one of the greatest hard bop trumpeters, he strives to create impassioned blues lines without losing the contemporary context within which he plays. He is perhaps one of the greatest technical trumpet players ever to play in
the jazz idiom and arguably
the most influential.
Freddie Hubbard 'This it It' Jazz Network Part One
Before Freddie Hubbard signed with CTI Records in 1970, he was already considered one of the most brilliant jazz trumpeters in the world. RED CLAY, his debut album on the label, is an exceptional set of plugged-in hard bop fused with funk - and reportedly the album he considers his best. Joining him on five of the six cuts, is a crack quintet featuring longtime colleagues Joe Henderson and Herbie Hancock, on tenor saxophone and keyboards respectively. The final number, a previously unissued, extended live jam on the title tune, finds Hubbard fronting an all-star septet that includes such fellow CTI stars as George Benson and Stanley Turrentine.
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It's too cold! It's too hot! It's really kind of feverish. Listen to a jazz riot of emotions. Here are 10 spring standouts curated by Jazz Director Maureen Malloy. Each, in no special order, has inspired hundreds of interpretations. Tune in to hear them during regular jazz hours on WRTI.
1. "It Might As Well Be Spring," Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein
For those of us who never can get enough of Astrud Gilberto ("Girl from Ipanema"), here she is, with Stan Getz, singing "It Might As Well Be Spring." The song from the 1945 movie musical State Fair won an Oscar for Best Original Song and was a Billboard chart hit. Recorded in the ‘60s, Gilberto does unique justice to the lyrics as she sings "I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm."
2. "Waters of March" ("Águas de Março") Antônio Carlos Jobim
It's hard to separate this song from its Brazilian roots because it was inspired by the torrential downpours marking fall in Rio de Janeiro. Antônio Carlos Jobim wrote the song and two sets of lyrics: one in his native Portuguese; the other in English. The words are a poetic stream of consciousness. Jazz artists from everywhere still interpret his cascade of images covering all the seasons.
3. "They Say It's Spring" Bob Haymes / Marty Clarke
This song was first recorded and released by chanteuse Blossom Dearie in 1958. Although it didn't make the cut when her Blossom Dearie album was first released, it's on a later version. The singer from New York state studied classical piano before giving it up for a jazz career. Her wispy girlish voice belied a steely wit. The aptly named Blossom Dearie died in 2009 at age 82. Here's her rendition of "light as a feather."
4. "Up Jumped Spring" Freddie Hubbard, music; Abbey Lincoln, lyrics
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard composed the music for "Up Jumped Spring" in the late 1960s. At its most elemental, it's a waltz that might inspire a swirl around the kitchen. Songwriter and singer Abbey Lincoln wrote the lyrics and released this version of the song in 1991 on her album with saxophonist Stan Getz: You Gotta Pay the Band.
5. "You Must Believe in Spring" Michel Legrand, composer
Pianist Bill Evans took French composer Michel Legrand's music for his own wistful ride in a 1977 recording. His soulful version of the original song on the album of the same name was released posthumously. It was full of more reflective choices coming from a time Evans had lost both a brother and a good friend to suicide. Evans with Tony Bennett singing the lyrics.
6. "I Love Paris" Cole Porter
Cole Porter's hit "I Love Paris" was part of his score for the 1953 musical Can Can. Porter had an apartment in Paris and an upscale lifestyle in the City of Lights. "I Love Paris" is a simple love song for the city in every season, regardless of whether it's sizzling or drizzling.
7. "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" Tommy Wolf, music; Fran Landesman, lyrics
"Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" was written for the 1959 musical The Nervous Set, the tale of a couple's heartache wrapped up in the beat lifestyle of Greenwich Village. The story doesn't have a happy ending. "Spring arrived on time/Only what became of you dear/Spring can really hang you up the most." Here's Ella Fitzgerald channeling the woe in this tune.
8. "Joy Spring" Clifford Brown and Max Roach.
Another sad one. Behind this composition, there's a love story that ends too soon. Trumpeter Clifford Brown wrote "Joy Spring" for his wife Larue Anderson. Drummer Max Roach introduced the couple. Soon after Brown wrote the song, he and Roach recorded the version you'll hear below. The clean-living Brown showed incredible talent as a trumpeter. Tragically, his career was cut short when he was killed in a car crash near Bedford, Pennsylvania one rainy night. It was June 26, 1956 and he was on his way to a gig in Chicago after playing in Philadelphia, at a club on Chestnut Street. He was just 25 years old.
9. "April In Paris" Vernon Duke, music; Yip Harburg, lyrics
This tune was the sole lasting hit from the 1932 Broadway musical Walk a Little Faster, a production that enjoyed only moderate success. But the song inspired a movie. Along the way, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dawn Upshaw and many more jazz artists have performed and recorded versions of "April in Paris." This one features Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Listen and "never miss a warm embrace."
10. "Spring Is Here" Dave Brubeck, from the song by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart lyrics
Rodgers and Hart reworked an earlier song and wrote "Spring is Here" for the 1938 musical I Married an Angel. In it, an angel, who marries a wealthy banker, adjusts to life on earth. It's a lonely spring, with remembrances of lost love: "Spring is here/ Why doesn't my heart go dancing?/ Spring is here/ Why isn't the waltz entrancing?" The jazz master Dave Brubeck recorded an instrumental version, as did John Coltrane.
With the success of Red Clay, Freddie Hubbard joined the ranks of jazz artists embracing fusion. Certainly, traditional players like Les McCann, Herbie Hancock, Charles Lloyd and of course Miles Davis (an early devotee of the genre) adopted this musical hybrid and transformed the modern jazz context. Hubbard (like other in his generation) was shaped by bebop, hard bop and post-bop movements. CTI Records (especially in the early seventies) was a haven for jazz artists seeking to incorporate, soul, rock and experimental music into jazz. Conversely many rock acts embraced fusion as a means of incorporating jazz into their music. CTI Records has re-mastered Freddie Hubbard's 1970 album, Straight Life to audiophile vinyl.
READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW
Before Freddie Hubbard signed with CTI Records in 1970, he was already considered one of the most brilliant jazz trumpeters in the world. Red Clay, his debut album on the label, is an exceptional set of plugged-in hard bop fused with funk - and reportedly the album he considers his best. Joining him on five of the six cuts, is a crack quintet featuring longtime colleagues Joe Henderson and Herbie Hancock, on tenor saxophone and keyboards respectively. The final number, a previously unissued, extended live jam on the title tune, finds Hubbard fronting an all-star septet that includes such fellow CTI stars as George Benson and Stanley Turrentine.
Freddie Hubbard's First Light (1971) was the 1972 Grammy winner for Best Jazz Performance by a Group the first Grammy to be won by a CTI artist and Don Sebesky was a nominee for Best Instrumental Arrangement for the album's "Lonely Town" track. Hubbard was subsequently named Trumpeter of the Year in the 1973 & 1974 DownBeat Readers Poll.
Freddie Hubbard's 'Straight Life,' which when originally released hit #5 on the Billboard jazz chart, came between his signature hits 'Red Clay' and 'First Light,' but All Music Guide hails the album as arguably Hubbard s greatest recording... frequently astounding... essential for all serious jazz collections. Joining Hubbard are tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, guitarist George Benson, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The very memorable set is rounded off by the trumpeter's duet with Benson on a lyrical version of the ballad Here's That Rainy Day.
Straight Life was a fine effort, an all-star session with a Latin-y feel that found all concerned in fine form. The title cut is a 17-minute jam. Hubbard exploits the upper register throughout much of his solo, and Joe Henderson on tenor delivers a blistering attack that is one of the high points of the album. George Benson's guitar simmers things down to a bluesy boil and Herbie Hancock works out effectively on the electric piano, finding a Latin groove with percussionist Patato Valdez and the great drummer Jack DeJohnette."Mr. Clean" is another straight-ahead attack that allows Freddie to show off his chops. Henderson again gets off on tenor, with a hammering, almost percussive solo. The album's mood relaxes with the finale, the standard "Here's That Rainy Day."
Freddie Hubbard was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of his generation, and his influence is still being felt in the sound of many young trumpet players today. His warm tone and formidable technique will be considered marvels well into the future.