Freddie Hubbard : Hub Tones

Freddie Hubbard : Hub Tones


Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Herbie Hancock (piano), James Spaulding (alto sax, flute), Reggie Workman (bass), Clifford Jarvis (drums) 

Blue Note 4115

Analogue Productions Records : 2 LPs 180 gram (45rpm)

Limited Edition : 2,500 printings

Brand New and Sealed Record

Discontinued : last copy available!...

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1 - You're My Everything
2 - Prophet Jennings
3 - Hub-Tones
4 - Lament for Booker
5 - For Spee's Sake

Recorded on October 10, 1962, at Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

In 1962, when Hub-Tones, his fifth album as a leader for Blue Note, was recorded, Hubbard had already won Down Beat magazine’s New Star award and become the new young lion of bop trumpeters. This recording is typical of the post-1959 recordings made at Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, studio, with instrumental spread placing the trumpet left, piano and bass center, and sax and drums right. Hubbard’s tone is captured beautifully by the microphones, its edge slightly sharper and less sweet than that of my hero, Clifford Brown. Hubbard surrounds himself on this album with other young and talented players, including pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist James Spaulding, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Clifford Jarvis.

On the lead-off tune, "You’re My Everything," immortalized by Miles Davis on his classic Prestige recording Relaxin’ and the only number on the album not by Hubbard, everyone displays emerging bop chops. A letdown comes in the fourth chorus, though, where Hubbard, over explosive drum licks, reaches for but doesn’t quite grasp the ideas obviously percolating in his head. A harbinger of things to come? I hoped not. The odd, Eastern-inspired "Prophet Jennings" features a cup-muted Hubbard and James Spaulding on flute so closely miked one can hear his gasps for air. I wanted to get more excited about this tune. The title tune, a snappy bop number, absolves Hubbard of his earlier missteps by giving a solo so spectacular that he sounds like a totally different trumpeter. Spaulding and Hancock step up and provide outstanding work throughout.

Side two opens with "Lament for Booker," a wistful and melancholic ballad written in memory of Booker Little, the late trumpeter and a close friend of Hubbard. After an initial flash of bravura featuring Hubbard’s singing tone and Spaulding’s flute, during which Hubbard reimagines the atmosphere of Sketches of Spain, the number settles into a tempo just this side of static. With all due respect to those involved, and even with Hubbard’s soulful coaxing of notes from his horn, I had to pinch myself to keep from falling asleep. "For Spee’s Sake" is a welcome return to form and the strongest tune on the album. It’s a hard-bop teaser with Hubbard turning in spirited playing in the best bop tradition. James Spaulding also impresses, sounding on his cautious entrance oh so much like John Coltrane. Drummer Jarvis’s rim shots explode in the studio and are captured beautifully. Throughout the album, the impeccable Hancock and Jarvis carry the session. Without them and the solid bass work of Workman, this session could easily be dismissed.

The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

This Analogue Productions LP was remastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray at AcousTech, using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed on virgin vinyl at RTI.