Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond

by Freddie Hubbard


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Above & Beyond

Despite some commercial records during the era, Freddie Hubbard was arguably the top trumpeter in jazz during the 1970s and '80s. If you have any doubts, put on this explosive disc. On June 17, 1982, Hubbard was scheduled to lead a quintet date at San Francisco's legendary Keystone Korner. Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson did not show up for unknown reasons, so the trumpeter had to stretch out a bit. With stimulating backing by pianist Billy Childs, bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Louis Hayes on this previously unreleased set (which was first put out in early 1999), Hubbard erupted with stunning improvisations full of fire, technical wizardry and creative ideas. The disc starts out with a very intense 18-minute investigation of "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" that can be considered essential listening, especially by those who have forgotten just how remarkable Hubbard was. The other selections on the CD are no less passionate: Cole Porter's "I Love You" and three of the trumpeter's best compositions ("Thermo," "Little Sunflower" and "Byrdlike"). Even the date's lone ballad, "Little Sunflower," is full of heat as Hubbard explores it for 17 minutes. The CD has some technical distortion in spots but is quite listenable. The remarkable program is an unexpected gem that reminds us what a major tragedy it is that Freddie Hubbard completely lost his chops in the 1990s.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/05/1999
Label: Metropolitan
UPC: 0667961111321
catalogNumber: 1113
Rank: 151297

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