This CD is a reissue of Freddie Hubbard’s 1969 LP that was recorded at MPS’s home-based studio in the Black Forest during a European tour. It’s an impromptu affair bridging Hubbard’s 60s Blue Note / Atlantic period (bop, hard bop and a foray into free jazz) and his 70s fusion-based recordings for CTI and Columbia. It’s turned out to be one of Hubbard’s hottest hard-bop blowing sessions on record.
The opening track, a wildly uptempo rendition of Without A Song, showcases the band’s energetic, uninhibited playing. With Louis Hayes powerful on drums, Hubbard and Eddie Daniels are on fire. The latter is usually viewed solely as a clarinettist but this is to forget that Daniels held the tenor sax chair in Thad Jones / Mel Lewis’s orchestra for six years. Here he’s on tenor sax throughout the album.
Cole Porter’s Just One of Those Things receives an even more enthusiastic makeover than Without A Song. It’s unleashed at breakneck speed with torrid trumpet soloing from Hubbard and fast piano from Roland Hanna. The pace slows in Blues For Duane, an original composed by Hubbard for his son. It’s played with Harmon mute by the trumpeter and has splendid solos from Daniels, Hanna and Richard Davis on bass. To close, Hubbard’s soulful interpretation of The Things We Did Last Summer has empathetic support from Hanna’s brushed piano strings, plaintive bass and delicate brushwork on drums.
The whole recording sounds like a live club performance where Hubbard reveals the full extent of his talents and the band dazzles with skilful collaboration and exhilarating solos. Whilst there have been two previous CD reissues of the original LP in 1988 and 2009, this is the best to date. Remastered in high-quality analogue and released in stereo, it has superb sound. The album has new liner notes and a photo of the original tape case.
Without A Song; Just One Of Those Things; Blues For Duane; The Things We Did Last Summer (34.58)
Hubbard (t); Eddie Daniels (ts); Roland Hanna (p); Richard Davis (b); Louis Hayes (d). Villingen, Germany, 9 December 1969.