Blue Spirits

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Blue Spirits
Blue Spirits.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMid February 1967[1]
RecordedFebruary 19 & 26, 1965
March 5, 1966
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Length44:35 original LP
62:04 CD reissue
LabelBlue Note
BST 84196
ProducerAlfred Lion
Freddie Hubbard chronology
Breaking Point
Blue Spirits
The Night of the Cookers
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide1/5 stars[3]

Blue Spirits is an album by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard released on the Blue Note label. It would be his last studio album for Blue Note, recorded in the 1960s. It features performances by Hubbard, James Spaulding, Joe Henderson, Harold Mabern, Jr., Larry Ridley, Clifford Jarvis, Big Black, Kiane Zawadi, Hank Mobley, McCoy Tyner, Bob Cranshaw, Pete LaRoca. The CD release added tracks from a 1966 session featuring Hosea Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Reggie Workman, and Elvin Jones.

The pieces[edit]

Hubbard say in the albums original liner notes: "I tried to get that dark sound... which characterizes much of the rest of the music in the album". All of the compositions featured in the set are Hubbard's originals. Hubbard intended for the album to be a spiritual one, but not in the religious sense.[4] "In a sense that I consider music to be spiritual experience because you can get at your deepest feeling... ". "Soul Surge" and "Cunga Black" have a distinct Latin feel, accentuated by Big Black's congas. "Blue Spirits" and "Jodo" have a kind of dark intensity about them, something which Hubbard was trying to capture. "Outer Forces" has the most standard hard bop feel to it. "Melting Pot" is "tropical and lyrical, with hints of a Horace Silver in the writing.[5] "True Colours" is completely free with Herbie Hancock sounding like Cecil Taylor and Hosea Taylor making animal-like noises, much like the late Eric Dolphy.


Allmusic's Scott Yanow awarded the album four stars, saying: "The set is comprised of seven diverse Hubbard originals and, even though none of the songs caught on to become standards, the music is quite challenging and fairly memorable." As stated in the liner notes, "The use of a fourth horn for this album, coupled with an exclusive focus on Hubbard's compositions, really threw light on the trumpeter's command of harmony, which is such a critical part of both his improvising and writing personality".[6] Hubbard's playing here is among his best, and this album "is arguably the best recorded example of the Hubbard/James Spaulding partnership" [7] which had been ongoing for the previous two years.

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Freddie Hubbard

  1. "Soul Surge" - 10:24
  2. "Blue Spirits" - 12:14
  3. "Outer Forces" - 9:35
  4. "Cunga Black" - 5:15
  5. "Jodo" - 7:07
  6. "The Melting Pot" - 7:36 Bonus track on CD
  7. "True Colors" - 9:53 Bonus track on CD

Recorded on February 19, 1965 (#1, 4), February 26, 1965 (#2, 3, 5) and March 5, 1966 (#6-7).


Tracks 1, 4

Tracks 2, 3, 5

Tracks 6-7


On the CD reissue of Blue Spirits, track 7 is listed as Hancock performing on the celeste, although it notably sounds like a harpsichord.


  1. ^ Billboard Feb 18, 1967
  2. ^ Blue Spirits at AllMusic
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 106. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Original liner notes by Nat Hentoff
  5. ^ 2003 reissue liner notes by Bob Blumenthal
  6. ^ 2003 reissue liner notes by Bob Blumenthal
  7. ^ 2003 reissue liner notes by Bob Blumenthal