In Memoriam: Freddie Hubbard, 1938-2008

Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard died yesterday (12.29.08), following complications from a heart attack. To commemorate the tragic passing of yet another American musical genius, here's Pépé Bradock's timeless house track "Deep Burnt," which has always sounded something like an elegy:

Bradock's classic record is based on a sample of Hubbard's composition "Little Sunflower," from his 1979 album The Love Connection:

If you've never heard Hubbard before, surely now is the time to correct that error. Red Clay and Straight Life, both from 1970, are landmarks of electric jazz, and his earlier hard bop recordings are of uniformly high quality (though Ready for Freddie stands out). His stunning improvisations can also be heard on Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage, Sam Rivers's Contours, and John Coltrane's Ascension, to name just the unanimously acknowledged masterpieces. In fact, those albums would form an excellent Jazz Starter Pack, for the slightly adventurous (which I know you are).

Here's a 1975 performance of "Straight Life," to conclude this memorial: