Freddie Hubbard, who DownBeat Magazine proclaimed “the most powerful and prolific trumpeter in jazz” shortly after his death in 2008, was indeed a formidable force throughout his years, particularly in the 1970s. This was primarily due to Hubbard’s output for Creed Taylor’s CTI label in the early half of the 70s, releasing Red Clay (1970), Straight Life (1970) and First Light (1971), which won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance.
Here’s Freddie’s Quintet from a Paris show in 1973 that features Junior Cook (tenor and flute), George Cables (electric piano), Kent Brinkley (bass) and Michael Carvin (drums). The set here includes Hubbard compositions “Straight Life”, “The Intrepid Fox” and “First Light” from those three aforementioned CTI albums.
In the mid 1970s, Hubbard made the move over to Columbia Records, where he began a commercial period beginning with 1974’s High Energy that proved to be quite critically disastrous for Hubbard and he had a fairly uphill battle after these Columbia releases to again obtain critical acclaim of his studio efforts. These Columbia records from the mid to late 70s though are for the most part thankfully out of print. Towards the end of 1970s though, Hubbard reinvigorated himself as he joined Herbie Hancock’s VSOP Quintet.
Here’s Hubbard with another quintet from 1978 at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway with Hadley Caliman (tenor), Billy Childs (piano), Larry Klein (bass) and Carl Burnett (drums). This set includes Hubbard’s “One Of A Kind”, which he wrote for Miles Davis. Freddie and company are in fine form here.