473

Freddie Hubbard: Super Blue

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Freddie Hubbard: Super Blue Freddie Hubbard's Super Blue, finally available on CD, is a minor classic—overlooked, perhaps, because it lies in the long shadow of the titan trumpeter's earlier output, or because it was recorded in the middle of a lackluster phase at Columbia.

But Blue is a late-summer sleeper. Reassembling some of the best talent from his CTI dates—Joe Henderson (tenor), Hubert Laws (flute), Ron Carter (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums) and George Benson (guitar), plus Kenny Barron (acoustic and electric keyboards), a jam-mate from Hubbard's groups of the later 1960s—the session proves that commercial accessibility can coexist with high artistic standards.

In lesser hands, much of this material would sound like smooth jazz; here the interpretations are deep and wide, rewarding repeated listenings. The rhythm section, for example: Carter's acoustic bass is propulsive without edginess, layered with subtle timbres, while DeJohnette plays with a part-swing, part-funk feel that can only be described as 'Old' Jack Swing. Barron's keyboard is fluid and flexible, his acoustic solo on "Theme for Kareem an exposé of rolling accents and morphing melody bytes; Laws is technically brilliant, executing difficult lines with unforced grace; Henderson plays with scruffy precision, weaving in and out of the changes, rounding corners, sliding without skidding out of control; Benson's cameo on "To Her Ladyship boasts a ringing bell-tone and quicksilver finesse.



Hubbard, at the helm, is flawless; a miniaturist in his attention to detail and nuance, an architect in his mastery of form (check the tuneful arc of his solo over "The Surest Things Can Change ) and a pyrotechnician of the first order; his fiery, over-the-speed-limit improvisations on "Take It to the Ozone, "Kareem (both master and alternate take) and the closing vamp of the title cut are as jaw-dropping and finger-popping as anything he's done.

Track Listing: Super Blue; To Her Ladyship; Take It to the Ozone; The Gospel Truth; The Surest Things Can Change; Theme for Kareem; Super Blue (alt. take); Take It to the Ozone (alt. take); Theme for Kareem (alt. take).

Personnel: Freddie Hubbard: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone; Hubert Laws: flutes; Kenny Barron: acoustic piano, keyboards; Ron Carter: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; George Benson: guitar; Dale Oehler: additional keyboards.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Mosaic Contemporary | Style: Funk/Groove


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Les Rhincéros III" CD/LP/Track Review Les Rhincéros III
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!