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The quintessential hard bop trumpeter, Freddie Hubbard has had his share of ups and downs since he made his precious debut on the ‘60s burgeoning jazz scene so eloquently fostered by Blue Note. The ‘70s were a time for commercial concessions that his critics seemed to condemn with undue fervor, while the ‘80s offered their own share of physical problems. A major statement and his finest work of recent vintage, New Colors is Hubbard at its best and back on the scene.
Fronting a large ensemble with arrangements provided by fellow trumpeter David Weiss, Hubbard revisits some of his most distinctive pieces while taking a go at Chick Corea’s “Inner Space.” It’s interesting to note that two of the charts come from one of Hubbard’s greatest and simultaneously most underrated Blue Note albums, Blue Spirits. The other familiar lines will be the ubiquitous “Red Clay” and “Osie Mae,” from another Blue Note classic, Hub Cap. Of the lesser-known tunes, highlights include “Dizzy’s Atmosphere” (with a brassy fanfare that is punctuated by Chris Karlic’s baritone interjections) and “Blues For Miles” (which sounds faintly like “High Heel Sneakers” with its catchy boogaloo beat).
Hubbard plays flugelhorn on all tracks and is in prime form. He continues to build those incendiary solos that marked him as a maverick while a youngster. Special guests Kenny Garrett and Javon Jackson appear on a track apiece and the rhythm team anchored by either Joe Chambers or Idris Muhammad lays down the royal carpet for Hubbard and the rest of his crew.
Track Listing: One of Another Kind, Blue Spirits, Blues For Miles, Dizzy
Personnel: Freddie Hubbard (Flugelhorn), David Weiss (trumpet), Craig Handy (tenor sax), Myron Walden (alto sax on tracks 1, 2, 5, 8), Ted Nash (alto sax on tracks 3, 4, 6, 7), Luis Bonilla (trombone on tracks 1-7), Steve Davis (trombone on track 8), Chris Karlic (baritone sax), Xavier Davis (piano), Dwayne Burno (bass), Joe Chambers (drums on tracks 1, 2, 5, 8), Idris Muhammad (drums on tracks 3, 4, 6, 7), Kenny Garrett (alto sax on track 3), Javon Jackson (tenor sax on track 4)
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.