Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freddie Hubbard Passes Away

hubbard.jpgAs much as food and wine, I love music, especially jazz (we have jazz piped in all day at the store to inspire customers). One of my jazz idols, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, passed away yesterday at age 70. Read this well-written obituary.

I discovered Freddie Hubbard in the mid-1970s when on a lark I bought his album Sky Dive. I was immediately mesmerized by his music, and I started listening more to jazz since then.

I finally saw Freddie Hubbard perform live in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass. at the Regatta Bar with his touring group at that time which included the brilliant Cedar Walton on piano. I was seated at the front row, no more than five feet away from the band. Mr. Hubbard was strutting proudly and blowing his horn fast and hard, pumping out music that soared in his signature staccato bursts. It was a virtuoso performance and, of course, I was blown away. Yet, Mr. Hubbard looked cool and dapper, just another day at the office it seemed. He was the best jazz trumpet player I've heard.

Looking back I feel fortunate to have watched Freddie Hubbard play live still at the peak of his genius. I'm really proud of that moment.

(photo of the young Freddie Hubbard by Price Givens on the masterpiece Red Clay album)

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