Recent listening, current

Monday, April 1, 2013

68. Freddie Hubbard / The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard (1962)

This is Hubbard's fifth album as leader, and his first recorded for the Impulse! label. The music is hard bop inside and out, but Hubbard's sextet undergoes some changes with trombone Curtis Fuller, and John Gilmore moonlighting away from the Arkestra. Together they stretch out in some lengthy jams and experimental explorations that lean clearly in the direction of the Impulse! ethos. "Bob's Place," "Summertime," and "The 7th Day" really put eyebrows on the proceedings. The reworking of "Caravan" is interesting, too. Gilmore is especially captivating. Like a musical alchemist, he plays long, sustained notes in lengthy phrases that unmoor the notes from their melodies. On compositions like "The 7th Day" or "Bob's Place" these contrast with the backdrop of the vamp, creating the effect of pure tonal color and presenting the tones themselves in striking relief beside their harmonic relationships. Tommy Flanagan on piano, Louis Hayes does drums, Art Davis bass. I like this side trip from the early Hubbard formula quite a bit.

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