Open Sesame (1960) was Freddie Hubbard’s first record as a leader. If it was his only record it would be legendary, but within two years he had recorded four better ones. What raised the other records above Open Sesame was the drummers: Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, and Louis Hayes. There is nothing wrong with Clifford Jarvis—he swings, he interacts with the other players, and he fits the band’s conservative concept. But on his best records Hubbard fed off his drummer’s energy. That does not happen here.
According to the liner notes Tina Brooks was studying with Jackie McLean at the time of this session, and he does mirror McLean’s penetrating, bluesy sound. He solos with logic and passion but without McLean’s fire and edge. As a writer Brooks contributes the two best tunes of the session: “Open Sesame,” a close relative to Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin”, and “Gypsy Blue,” a blues that inspires Hubbard.
The ballad “But Beautiful” is nothing special. Hubbard doesn’t do much with it (Brooks does.), but like the other cuts it gives the listener a taste of Hubbard’s upcoming brilliance in the genre.
Track Listing: Open Sesame; But Beautiful; Gypsy Blue; All Or Nothing At All; One Mint Julep; Hub's Nub; Open Sesame (alternate); Gypsy Blue (alternate).
Personnel: Freddie Hubbard: trumpet; Tina Brooks: tenor sax; McCoy Tyner: piano; Sam Jones: bass: Clifford Jarvis: drums.
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!