Sunday, April 18, 2010

Freddie HUBBARD - Straight Life 1970

Freddie HUBBARD - Straight Life 1970
SR 3311, CTI 6007


This is a remarkable and often overlooked album by one of the finest and most innovative trumpet players of the '60s and '70s. Steeped deeply in funk, Hubbard brings his bright tone and evocative, mercurial playing to the post-BITCHES BREW soundscape of electrified instruments, Latin percussion, complex polyrhythms, and "free" blowing focused on texture and atmosphere. STRAIGHT LIFE charts waters different from Davis' masterpiece, however. Whereas BITCHES BREW is a dark, ominous journey into a jungle of rhythm clusters and tonal coloring, Hubbard's work is sparer, cleaner, and characterized by catchy, almost pop-like themes.

STRAIGHT LIFE is much more than a mere groove-fest, though, as the top-notch players (including Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and a young George Benson on guitar) unfurl formidable chops and vibrant backing throughout. The first two tracks, Hubbard's title track and Weldon Irvine's "Mr. Clean," are lengthy, soulful workouts whose propulsive qualities and buoyancy are contrasted by the third track, the artist's delicate and gorgeous flugelhorn treatment of "Here's That Rainy Day." Taken together, the cuts on STRAIGHT LIFE are musically sophisticated, stirring, and eminently groovy, making this "soul-jazz" of the highest order.
Bass- Ron Carter
Drums- Jack DeJohnette
Guitar- George Benson
Percussion- Richard "Pablo" Landrum*
Piano- Herbie Hancock
Tenor Sax- Joe Henderson
Tambourine, Tabla- Weldon Irvine
Trumpet, Flugelhorn- Freddie Hubbard
A1. Straight Life  17:40
    Composed By - F. Hubbard
B1. Mr. Clean  13:38
    Composed By - W. Irvine
B2. Here's That Rainy Day  5:18
    Composed By - J. V. Heusen , J. Burke


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