Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Freddie Hubbard - Open Sesame (1960)
This blog laments the passing away of jazz trumpet giant Freddie Hubbard. To this end, some of his most representative recorded works will be presented.
A fitful way to start would be Hubbard's first album as a leader, Open Sesame. Recorded in 1960, it is not only a very good record, it dramatizes history in the making. The trumpeter was not unknown then, but he was still in his early years; so was pianist McCoy Tyner, for whom a momentous association with John Coltrane was just around the corner. Indeed, the best-known musician at the time of this recording was bassist Sam Jones, and while he went on to bigger things with Cannonball Adderley and then Oscar Peterson, it was Hubbard and Tyner who would emerge as unambiguously major figures. That by rights should also have characterized tenorist Tina Brooks, but this superb player (his work on "But Beautiful" here is exquisite) never got the recognition he deserved, dying almost forgotten in 1974 at the age of 42. Further highlights include the leader's "Hub's Nub" and the two takes apiece of the title track and "Gypsy Blue," both excellent compositions by Brooks. Mention should also be made of drummer Clifford Jarvis, a young lion steeped in Blakey, and Rudy Van Gelder's predictably flawless engineering. The music both invigorates and enchants.