Freddie Hubbard

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Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard 1976.jpg
Hubbard performing in Rochester, New York, 1976
Background information
Birth name Frederick Dewayne Hubbard
Born (1938-04-07)April 7, 1938
Origin Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died December 29, 2008(2008-12-29) (aged 70)
Sherman Oaks, California, United States
Genres Jazz, Bebop, Hard bop, Post bop
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader, composer
Instruments Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, French horn, Mellophone
Years active 1958–2008
Labels Atlantic, Columbia, CTI, Blue Note
Associated acts Ornette Coleman

Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard (April 7, 1938 – December 29, 2008)[1] was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post-bop styles from the early 1960s onwards. His unmistakable and influential tone contributed to new perspectives for modern jazz and bebop.[2]

Career beginnings[edit]

Hubbard started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trumpeter Lee Katzman, former sideman with Stan Kenton, recommended that he begin studying at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music (now the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University) with Max Woodbury, the principal trumpeter of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In his teens Hubbard worked locally with brothers Wes and Monk Montgomery and worked with bassist Larry Ridley and saxophonist James Spaulding. In 1958, at the age of 20, he moved to New York, and began playing with some of the best jazz players of the era, including Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, Eric Dolphy, J. J. Johnson, and Quincy Jones. On 19 June 1960 Hubbard made his first record as a leader, Open Sesame at the beginning of his contract with Blue Note Records, with saxophonist Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Clifford Jarvis. Six days later he returned the favor to Brooks, and recorded with him on True Blue.


In December 1960, Hubbard was invited to play on Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz after Coleman had heard him performing with Don Cherry.[3]

Then in May 1961, Hubbard played on Olé Coltrane, John Coltrane's final recording session for Atlantic Records. Together with Eric Dolphy, Hubbard was the only sideman who appeared on both Olé and Africa/Brass, Coltrane's first album with Impulse!. Later, in August 1961, Hubbard recorded Ready for Freddie (Blue Note), which was also his first collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Hubbard joined Shorter later in 1961 when he replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He played on several Blakey recordings, including Caravan, Ugetsu, Mosaic, and Free For All. In all, during the 1960s, he recorded eight studio albums as a bandleader for Blue Note, and more than two dozen as a sideman.[4] Hubbard remained with Blakey until 1966, leaving to form the first of several small groups of his own, which featured, among others, pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Louis Hayes. This group recorded for Atlantic.

It was during this time that he began to develop his own sound, distancing himself from the early influences of Clifford Brown and Morgan, and won the Downbeat jazz magazine "New Star" award on trumpet.[5]

Throughout the 1960s Hubbard played as a sideman on some of the most important albums from that era, including Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage, and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil.[6] Hubbard was described as "the most brilliant trumpeter of a generation of musicians who stand with one foot in 'tonal' jazz and the other in the atonal camp".[7] Though he never fully embraced the free jazz of the 1960s, he appeared on two of its landmark albums: Coleman's Free Jazz and Coltrane's Ascension, as well as on Sonny Rollins' 1966 "New Thing" track "East Broadway Run Down" with Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison.


Hubbard with Harry Abraham

Hubbard achieved his greatest popular success in the 1970s with a series of albums for Creed Taylor and his record label CTI Records, overshadowing Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, and George Benson.[8] Although his early 1970s jazz albums Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive were particularly well received and considered among his best work, the albums he recorded later in the decade were attacked by critics for their commercialism. First Light won a 1972 Grammy Award and included pianists Herbie Hancock and Richard Wyands, guitarists Eric Gale and George Benson, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreira.[9] In 1994, Hubbard, collaborating with Chicago jazz vocalist/co-writer Catherine Whitney, had lyrics set to the music of First Light.[10]

In 1977 Hubbard joined with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, members of the mid-sixties Miles Davis Quintet, for a series of performances. Several live recordings of this group were released as VSOP, VSOP: The Quintet, VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum (all 1977) and VSOP: Live Under the Sky (1979).[2]

Hubbard's trumpet playing was featured on the track "Zanzibar", on the 1978 Billy Joel album 52nd Street (the 1979 Grammy Award Winner for Best Album). The track ends with a fade during Hubbard's performance. An "unfaded" version was released on the 2004 Billy Joel box set My Lives.

Later life[edit]

Hubbard in a performance in 1978. (photo: Brian McMillen)

In the 1980s Hubbard was again leading his own jazz group – this time with Billy Childs and Larry Klein, among others, as members – attracting favorable reviews, playing at concerts and festivals in the USA and Europe, often in the company of Joe Henderson, playing a repertory of hard-bop and modal-jazz pieces. Hubbard played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1980 and in 1989 (with Bobby Hutcherson). He played with Woody Shaw, recording with him in 1985, and two years later recorded Stardust with Benny Golson. In 1988 he teamed up once more with Blakey at an engagement in the Netherlands, from which came Feel the Wind. In 1988, Hubbard played with Elton John, contributing trumpet and flugelhorn and trumpet solos on the track "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Part Two)" for John's Reg Strikes Back album. In 1990 he appeared in Japan headlining an American-Japanese concert package which also featured Elvin Jones, Sonny Fortune, pianists George Duke and Benny Green, bass players Ron Carter, and Rufus Reid, with jazz and vocalist Salena Jones. He also performed at the Warsaw Jazz Festival, at which Live at the Warsaw Jazz Festival (Jazzmen 1992) was recorded.[2]

Following a long setback of health problems and a serious lip injury in 1992 where he ruptured his upper lip and subsequently developed an infection, Hubbard was again playing and recording occasionally, even if not at the high level that he set for himself during his earlier career.[11] His best records ranked with the finest in his field.[12]

Legacy and honors[edit]

In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts accorded Hubbard its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.[5]

On December 29, 2008, Hubbard died in Sherman Oaks, California from complications caused by a heart attack he suffered on November 26.[13]

Freddie Hubbard had close ties to the Jazz Foundation of America in his later years. He is quoted as saying, "When I had congestive heart failure and couldn't work, The Jazz Foundation paid my mortgage for several months and saved my home! Thank God for those people."[14] The Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund took care of him during times of illness. After his death, Hubbard's estate requested that tax-deductible donations be made in his name to the Jazz Foundation of America.[14]


As leader[edit]

Sortable table with recording date as primal order, "year" shows date of first release.

Title Year Label
Open Sesame 1960 Blue Note
Goin' Up 1960 Blue Note
Hub Cap 1961 Blue Note
Ready for Freddie 1961 Blue Note
The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard 1962 Impulse!
Hub-Tones 1962 Blue Note
Here to Stay 1962 Blue Note
The Body & the Soul 1963 Impulse!
Breaking Point 1964 Blue Note
Blue Spirits 1965 Blue Note
The Night of the Cookers 1965 Blue Note
Jam Gems: Live at the Left Bank 2001 Label M
Backlash 1966 Atlantic
High Blues Pressure 1968 Atlantic
A Soul Experiment 1969 Atlantic
The Black Angel 1970 Atlantic
The Hub of Hubbard 1970 MPS
Red Clay 1970 CTI
Straight Life 1970 CTI
Sing Me a Song of Songmy 1971 Atlantic
First Light 1971 CTI
Sky Dive 1973 CTI
Keep Your Soul Together 1973 CTI
Freddie Hubbard/Stanley Turrentine in Concert Volume One 1974 CTI
In Concert Volume Two with Stanley Turrentine 1974 CTI
Polar AC 1975 CTI
High Energy 1974 Columbia
Gleam 1975 Sony (Japan)
Liquid Love 1975 Columbia
Windjammer 1976 Columbia
Bundle of Joy 1977 Columbia
Super Blue 1978 Columbia
The Love Connection 1979 Columbia
Skagly 1979 Columbia
Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1980 Pablo
Mistral with Art Pepper 1981 Liberty
Outpost 1981 Enja
Splash 1981 Fantasy
Rollin' 1982 MPS
Keystone Bop Vol. 2: Friday & Saturday 1996 Prestige
Keystone Bop: Sunday Night 1982 Prestige
Born to Be Blue 1982 Pablo
Ride Like the Wind 1982 Elektra/Asylum
Above & Beyond 1982 Metropolitan
Back to Birdland 1982 Real Time
Sweet Return 1983 Atlantic
The Rose Tattoo 1983 Baystate (Japan)
Double Take with Woody Shaw 1985 Blue Note
Life Flight 1987 Blue Note
The Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw 1987 Blue Note
Feel the Wind with Art Blakey 1988 Timeless
Times Are Changing 1989 Blue Note
Topsy - Standard Book 1989 Alpha/Compose
Bolivia 1991 Music Masters
At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles 2000 Starburst
Live at Fat Tuesday's 1992 Music Masters
Blues for Miles 1992 Evidence
MMTC: Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon 1995 Music Masters
New Colors 2001 Hip Bop
On the Real Side 2008 Times Square

As sideman[edit]

Sortable table with main artist alphabetically as primal order.

Main artist Title Label Year
Manny Albam The Soul of the City Solid State 1966
Roberto Ávila & Sarava Come to Brazil Sonet 1989
George Benson The Other Side of Abbey Road A&M/CTI 1969
Walter Benton Out of this World Jazzland 1960
Art Blakey Mosaic Blue Note 1961
Art Blakey Buhaina's Delight Blue Note 1961
Art Blakey A Jazz Hour with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Blues March Jazz Hour 1961 [1992]
Art Blakey Three Blind Mice United Artists 1962
Art Blakey Caravan Riverside 1962
Art Blakey Ugetsu Riverside 1963
Art Blakey Kyoto Riverside 1964
Art Blakey Free for All Blue Note 1964
Art Blakey Golden Boy Colpix 1964
Art Blakey Soul Finger Limelight 1965
Tina Brooks True Blue Blue Note 1960
Kenny Burrell God Bless the Child CTI 1971
George Cables Cables' Vision Contemporary 1979
Betty Carter Droppin' Things Verve 1990
Ornette Coleman Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation Atlantic 1960
John Coltrane Olé Coltrane Atlantic 1961
John Coltrane Africa/Brass Impulse! 1961
John Coltrane Ascension Impulse! 1965
Richard Davis Muses for Richard Davis MPS 1969
Eric Dolphy Outward Bound New Jazz 1960
Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch! Blue Note 1964
Kenny Drew Undercurrent Blue Note 1960
Charles Earland Leaving This Planet Prestige 1973
Bill Evans Interplay Riverside 1962
Joe Farrell Sonic Text Contemporary 1980
Curtis Fuller Boss of the Soul-Stream Trombone Warwick 1960
Curtis Fuller Soul Trombone Impulse! 1961
Curtis Fuller Cabin in the Sky Impulse! 1962
Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Oscar Peterson The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 Pablo 1980
Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Oscar Peterson The Alternate Blues Pablo 1980
Benny Golson Pop + Jazz = Swingjazz part also released as Just Jazz! Audio Fidelity 1961
Benny Golson Take a Number from 1 to 10 Argo 1961
Dexter Gordon Doin' Allright Blue Note 1961
Dexter Gordon Clubhouse Blue Note 1964
Dexter Gordon Generation Prestige 1972
Dexter Gordon The Other Side of Round Midnight Blue Note 1986
Slide Hampton Slide Hampton and His Horn of Plenty Strand 1959
Slide Hampton Sister Salvation Atlantic 1960
Slide Hampton Drum Suite Epic 1962
Herbie Hancock Takin' Off Blue Note 1962
Herbie Hancock Empyrean Isles Blue Note 1964
Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage Blue Note 1965
Herbie Hancock Blow-Up MGM 1966
Herbie Hancock VSOP Columbia 1977
Herbie Hancock VSOP: The Quintet Columbia 1977
Herbie Hancock VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum Columbia 1977
Herbie Hancock VSOP: Live Under the Sky Columbia 1979
Herbie Hancock Round Midnight (Soundtrack) Columbia 1986
Jimmy Heath The Quota Riverside 1961
Jimmy Heath Triple Threat Riverside 1962
Joe Henderson Big Band Verve 1996
Andrew Hill Pax Blue Note 1965 [1975]
Andrew Hill Compulsion!!!!! Blue Note 1965
Bobby Hutcherson Dialogue Blue Note 1965
Bobby Hutcherson Highway One Columbia 1978
Milt Jackson Sunflower CTI 1973
Billy Joel 52nd Streettrumpet on "Zanzibar" only Columbia 1978
Elton John Reg Strikes Back Rocket/Mercury 1988
J. J. Johnson J.J. Inc. Columbia 1961
Quincy Jones I Dig Dancers Mercury 1960
Quincy Jones Walking in Space A&M/CTI 1969
John Lewis Essence Atlantic 1962
Kirk Lightsey Temptation Timeless 1991
Ronnie Mathews Doin' the Thang! Prestige 1963
Jackie McLean Bluesnik Blue Note 1961
The Modern Jazz Quartet MJQ & Friends: A 40th Anniversary Celebration Atlantic 1994
Wes Montgomery Fingerpickin Pacific Jazz 1958
Wes Montgomery Road Song A&M 1968
Hank Mobley Roll Call Blue Note 1960
Alphonse Mouzon By All Means Pausa 1980
Oliver Nelson The Blues and the Abstract Truth Impulse! 1961
Duke Pearson Dedication! Jazzline/Prestige 1961 [1970]
Duke Pearson Sweet Honey Bee Blue Note 1966
Duke Pearson The Right Touch Blue Note 1967
Oscar Peterson Face to Face Pablo 1982
Sam Rivers Contours Blue Note 1965
Max Roach Drums Unlimited Atlantic 1965
Sonny Rollins East Broadway Run Down Impulse! 1966
Rufus Numbers ABC 1979
Poncho Sanchez Cambios 1991
Don Sebesky Giant Box CTI 1973
Lalo Schifrin Once a Thief and Other Themes Verve 1965
Wayne Shorter Wayning Moments Vee-Jay 1962
Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil Blue Note 1964
Wayne Shorter The Soothsayer Blue Note 1965
Wayne Shorter The All Seeing Eye Blue Note 1965
Leon Thomas A Piece of Cake Palcoscenico
Stanley Turrentine Sugar CTI 1970
McCoy Tyner Together Milestone 1978
McCoy Tyner Quartets 4 X 4on three tracks as part of one quartet Milestone 1980
Cedar Walton Soundscapes Columbia 1980
Randy Weston Uhuru Afrika Roulette 1960
Randy Weston Blue Moses CTI 1972


  • 1981 Studiolive (Sony)[15]
  • 1985 One Night with Blue Note
  • 2004 Live at the Village Vanguard (Immortal)[16]
  • 2005 All Blues (FS World Jazz)[17]
  • 2009 Freddie Hubbard: One of a Kind


  1. ^ "Freddie Hubbard Dies". Downbeat. December 29, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Scott Yanow. "Freddie Hubbard | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  3. ^ Martin Williams, sleeve notes to Free Jazz (1960)
  4. ^ "Freddie Hubbard The Blue Note Years 1960–1965". Dan Miller Jazz. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Freddie Hubbard", NEA Jazz Masters, 2006.
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness (1995), pp. 2018–2019 – ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  7. ^ Berendt, Joachim E (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 191. 
  8. ^ Scott Yanow, Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years, Backbeat Books, 2003, p. 821 – ISBN 0-87930-755-2
  9. ^ Thom Jurek. "First Light – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  10. ^ " and Gopam Enterprises". Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  11. ^ "Freddie Hubbard @ All About Jazz". Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  12. ^ Yanow, Scott. Jazz: A Regional Exploration, Greenwood Press, 2005, p. 184 – ISBN 0-313-32871-4
  13. ^ Heckman, Don (December 30, 2008). "Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpeter, dies at 70". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ a b "Freddie Hubbard", Jazz Foundation of America.
  15. ^ "Studiolive – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  16. ^ "Live at the Village Vanguard – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. June 29, 2004. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  17. ^ "All Blues [DVD] – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. July 19, 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 

External links[edit]