Freddie Hubbard: Without a song: Live in Europe 1969

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COMPOSERS: Freddie Hubbard
LABELS: Blue Note
WORKS: Without a song: Live in Europe 1969
PERFORMER: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Roland Hanna (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Louis Hayes (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 697 0932

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Before his death last year, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard declared this unreleased material to be some of his best playing ever captured on tape.

The disc melds segments from three venues, taking material from jazz impressario Sonny Lester’s ‘Jazz Wave’ tour on which top soloists would play individual sets prior to a big band jam. Hubbard’s quartet are playing at their best but the sound balance often loses Ron Carter’s bass.

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The largest segment is from Bristol’s Colston Hall, where the local paper at the time declared Hubbard as ‘strangely underrated in this country’. Not so now. As Hubbard introduces ‘a night in Tun-eesia’, it harks back to his Jazz Messenger days and reaffirms his legendary status with crystal-clear tone and dexterity. Neil McKim