Freddie Hubbard

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Ready for Freddie

This is a hot album: a pinnacle of the Blue Note label’s ‘60s modern jazz sound. Some classic numbers are debuted, and the band is superior, with Hubbard joined by Wayne Shorter on tenor, McCoy Tyner on piano, Art Davis on bass, Elvin Jones on drums, and adding the exotic touch that makes the sound of this album unique, Bernard McKinney on euphonium. Hubbard is on top form, which means you won’t hear better jazz trumpet, and Wayne Shorter’s playing is at its most surreal: limping, broken, but devious, especially on ‘Birdlike’, while there is admirable restraint and architectonic conception to be witnessed in his solos on ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Crisis’.