One of my favourite trumpet players – one who helped transform the instrument – is Freddie Hubbard. He died on Monday morning. Sadly, this means that the last of a line of great trumpet giants of the middle period has passed. (I’m thinking of a line including Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan – Hubbard was the next. See my article on this from last year.) There’s a Herald Tribune obituary by Peter Keepnews here, and NPR has a reflection by Howard Mandel here.
There are a lot of YouTube clips of him playing, but sift carefully since (from a quick scan) what’s there is not a great mixture, I’d say. At least to my tastes there’s not enough stuff representative of his greatest periods as compared to the later work. I picked out a few bits for you below, but I’d recommend, if you are looking to more rapidly understand and appreciate his playing, and savour the energy, creativity and beauty of his work, that you dig into that wonderful stream of Blue Note albums from the 60′s. Not just the albums under his name (like Here to Stay, or Hubtones), but also on some of the greatest albums of the period by artists such as Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, and so on. There are so many, and I’m sure there are many readers with their own favourites (do share if you like).
Here he is with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers playing on Moanin’.
And here’s a rather good recording of him playing flugelhorn on the Tonight Show playing Body and Soul (update: I forgot to mention that he’s quite wonderful on flugelhorn – look out for more):
Ah. Finally, let’s have him with Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock and others, playing on Hancock’s Maiden Voyage:
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):