Monday, December 29, 2008

Freddie Hubbard dies at 70

Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard passed away December 29 in Sherman Oaks Hospital in California at the age of 70. The cause of death was complications from a heart attack he suffered on November 26.

Hubbard was a great player and composer who moved in a lot of different directions. As a "Night of the Cookers" hard bop player few could touch him, but he was also part of the outstanding lineup that made Ornette Coleman's classic Free Jazz. He wrote the gorgeous ballad "Little Sunflower" and made one of the most popular records of the fusion era, the CTI touchstone Red Clay.

Hubbard played with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Bobby Hutcherson, Oliver Nelson, Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner among others and made over 300 albums as a leader and sideman on Impulse!, Blue Note, Atlantic, CTI, Columbia, Elektra, MPS, Music Masters, Telarc, Enja and Hip Bop Records, which released his final album, On the Real Side, earlier this year.

Like so many of his peers, Hubbard is gone but his music will never die.

"Freddie Hubbard had the most incandescent spirit of almost any musician I ever had the opportunity to play with," said bassist Christian McBride. "He struck serious fear in those of us who thought we were ready to play with him. All of us who played with Freddie, like Billy Childs, Kenny Garrett, Carl Allen and Benny Green, among many, many others, we were taught to play hard, with fire, with intelligence, to leave NO question as to who you were as a musician. I will carry his memory with me for the rest of my life."


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