Freddie Hubbard: Lament For Booker

Freddie Hubbard
Photograph by Jos L. Knaepen

As I write this a day after his passing on December 29, 2008, we bemoan the loss of a great trumpeter. But Freddie Hubbard himself knew what it was like. Born only five days before him, Booker Little was likewise an exciting young trumpeter in the early 1960s, just beginning to realize his immense potential. That's when uremia cruelly cut short Little's life at age 23. Hubbard no doubt felt a special kinship to his fallen comrade, and wrote this melancholy ballad in a moving tribute.

James Spaulding's harmony flute lines intertwine fluidly with Hubbard's, but Hubbard's solo expressions are at the heart of this performance. Known primarily as a fiery player, Freddie here shows nothing but appropriate restraint, the clarity in each note expressed with the cadence and conveyance of the human voice. With a flawless performance, Freddie Hubbard immortalized himself in the service of immortalizing another jazz great.

December 30, 2008 · 1 comment


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