Fantasy can usually be counted on to add worthwhile albums to its Original jazz Classics series, which now exceeds 925 titles. These recent additions, both from the Pablo catalogue, are well worth hearing. The early 1980s found Freddie Hubbard offering some marvelous straight-ahead dates after recording so many commercial "smooth jazz"/NAC stinkers. In 1982, the Clifford Brown-influenced trumpeter teamed up with pianist supreme Oscar Peterson for the post-bop/hard jewel Face To Face
. With Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew on board, the sparks fly. From "All Blues" to "Portrait Of Jennie" to Hub's own "Thermo," Face To Face
is a fine example of Hub making the most of his improvisatory skills instead of shamelessly wasting them.
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.