The Eternal Triangle is a follow up to the well received Double Take recorded in 1985. Hubbard, now long distanced from purely commercial considerations, performs outstandingly, a crackling sharpness about the horn carrying all before it. Shaw is not far behind, evincing the clarity of purpose evident in all his best performances.
From the outset, the mood is up; Down Under is a romping Hubbard original first used on a Jazz Messengers recording and carried along nicely by the rhythm section, the trumpets matched by Garrett in a preaching mood. Sonny Stitt’s Triangle steams along at breakneck pace, Hubbard rattling through a solo of fierce aggression, urging his fellow musicians into equal belligerence.
Lee Morgan’s soulful Calling, finds Shaw relaying the message forcibly and receiving the appropriate reply from the congregation, whilst the lilt of Sao Paulo, penned by Kenny Dorham, adds a welcome contrast the the general air of intensity. Miller acquits himself admirably throughout, Drummond confirms his already sizeable reputation and Allen provides the driving force not far short of Blakey horsepower. If there could have been room for a ballad along the way it might have come as a welcome breather.
Suffice to say this one will stand alongside numerous other Woody Shaw projects, as proof of how sorely missed his talents will be.
Down Under; The Eternal Triangle; The Moontrane; Calling Miss Khadija; Nostrand And Fulton; Tomorrow’s Destiny; Sao Paulo; Fleets And I (56.32)
Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw (t); Kenny Garrett (as); Mulgrew Miller (p); Ray Drummond (b); Carl Allen (d). Van Gelder Recording Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, June 11 & 12 1987.
Blue Note CDP 7 48017 2