Mar 9, 2011
The late Freddie Hubbard is alive and well and blowing on Pinnacle, Live and Unreleased from Keystone Korner, Recorded over a run of shows in San Francisco 30 years ago, the recording reminds us just how dynamic a player Hub could be, and how much he is missed.
Injury to his lip and subsequent illness took away much of Hubbard’s range late in his career, but from 1960 to 1980 (save for a few fusion-oriented dates), he was the top post-bop trumpeter going. Performing here with a large combo including saxophone and trombone, this set covers classic Hubbard compositions, tasty covers, and an exciting run through on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”.
Listen to “One of Another Kind" (click here), a tune Hubbard contributed to the repertoire of V.S.O.P., the mid '70s hard-bop quintet he co-led with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Childs vamps a little, and then sets the melody along at a quick pace, into which Hubbard is more than willing to jump. His solos flirt with the upper range, but never come across as mere blowing exercises. There is a lot of heart and soul here, particularly when sax man Caliman kicks in. The rest of the band is more than up to the task. The CD is a tribute of sorts to Caliman as well as Hubbard, since Hadley passed away in September 2010.
The band is Hubbard on trumpet and flugelhorn, with pianist Billy Childs, bassist Larry Klein. saxophonists Hadley Caliman, and David Schnitter, trombonist Phil Ranelin, and drummers Eddie Marshall and Sinclair Lott. For shows at the Keystone with the same rhythm section and guests like Joe Henderson, check out Keystone Bop 1981.