The Hub Of Hubbard
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In 1970 Freddie Hubbard's career reached a crossroads. Ten years after the trumpeter had released his debut album "Open Sesame" he could already take stock in an impressive array of achievements: around a dozen albums under his own name for Blue Note and Atlantic, participation in ground-breaking free jazz albums by Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, the development of an original sound somewhere between hard bop, soul, and fusion. From there he broke out and into his popular phase with CTI Records. At the same time this MPS album loomed on the horizon as a milestone. Hubbard recorded the album at the MPS studios in Villingen, Germany during a break in his European tour, thus we get to experience a musician and his world-class quintet spontaneously interacting in an open setting. Those who are familiar with the many dreamy versions of the standard "Without a Song" will be thrilled with this 13-minute escapade spotlighting the band's unbridled play. Hubbard's dialogue with saxophonist Eddie Daniels and drummer Louis Hayes' powerful impulse crown the piece. The energy and enthusiasm increases on "Just One of Those Things", as the players unleash an incredible chain of hard-bopping staccato lines. Hubbard dedicates the playful "Blues For Duane" to his son; bassist Richard Davis grounds the piece in a light-hearted, earthy feel. Hubbard reveals his radiant melodic prowess as he interprets "The Things We Did Last Summer" in broadly swinging arcs, congenially supported by Roland Hanna's piano harmonies. Davis has another shining moment as he brings the piece to an end with just the right pensive touch.