2 January 2009
FREDDIE HUBBARD - SUPER BLUE
Freddie Hubbard for Columbia from 1978.
Joe Henderson (tenor), Hubert Laws (flute), Ron Carter (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums) George Benson (guitar) Kenny Barron (acoustic and electric keyboards).
This session proves that commercial accessibility can coexist with high artistic standards.
In lesser hands, much of this material would sound like smooth jazz; here the interpretations are deep and wide, rewarding repeated listenings. The rhythm section, for example: Carter's acoustic bass is propulsive without edginess, layered with subtle timbres, while DeJohnette plays with a part-swing, part-funk feel that can only be described as Jack Swing. Barron's keyboard is fluid and flexible, his acoustic solo on Theme for Kareem an expose of rolling accents and morphing melody bytes; Laws is technically brilliant, executing difficult lines with unforced grace; Henderson plays with scruffy precision, weaving in and out of the changes, rounding corners, sliding without skidding out of control; Benson's cameo on To Her Ladyship boasts a ringing bell-tone and quicksilver finesse.
Hubbard, at the helm, is flawless; a miniaturist in his attention to detail and nuance, an architect in his mastery of form (check the tuneful arc of his solo over The Surest Things Can Change) and a pyrotechnician of the first order; his fiery, over-the-speed-limit improvisations on Take It to the Ozone,Kareem(both master and alternate take) and the closing vamp of the title cut are as jaw-dropping and finger-popping as anything he's done. Tom Greenland.
This seems to be in and out of print on cd-some sites list it as unavailable while cduniverse have it ready for order.My rip is from the original vinyl.