Freddie Hubbard, Ready For Freddie (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster Edition)

Kevin Whitehead

By Kevin Whitehead

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

Ready For Freddie (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster Edition)

Freddie Hubbard
Cooking in a refreshingly straight-ahead way

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard followed Lee Morgan onto Blue Note's roster even before replacing him in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers; he had the right crackling tone and fiery conception for either slot, as the long sprint "Birdlike" makes clear. On this 1961 sextet session, he's backed by John Coltrane's then-current rhythm trio — McCoy Tyner, Art Davis and Elvin Jones — cooking in a refreshingly straight-ahead way. Save on the slow ballad "Weaver of Dreams," a showcase for Freddie's burnished tone and agile double-timing, the trumpeter shares the front line with fellow Messenger Wayne Shorter on tenor and Bernard McKinney aka Kiane Zawadi on valved euphonium in place of the usual trombone. Shorter brought the upbeat anthem "Marie Antoinette," with its lovely roving melody, and takes a lead-off solo to point up its possibilities. Please dig Elvin's cartwheeling triplets there; throughout, the polyrhythmic powerhouse drummer shows what a relaxed swinger he could be.