Freddie Hubbard was born in April 7, 1938 in Indianapolis, Indiana and died in Sherman Oaks, California on December 29, 2008 from congestive heart disease. Freddie started playing the trumpet in high school and his talent was apparent. He was encouraged by trumpeter Lee Katzman to study at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of music with Max Woodbury, the principal trumpeter of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In his teens, Hubbard worked locally with brothers Wes and Monk Montgomery, and worked with bassist Larry Ridley and saxophonist James Spaulding. In 1958, at the age of 20, he moved to New York and began playing with some of the best jazz players of the era, including Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, Eric Dolphy, J. J. Johnson, and Quincy Jones. In June 1960, Hubbard made his first record as a leader, “Open Sesame,” with saxophonist Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Cliford Jarvis
Hubbard achieved his greatest popular success in the 1970s with a series of albums for Creed Taylor and his record label CTI Records, overshadowing Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, and George Benson. Although his early 1970s jazz albums Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive were particularly well received and considered among his best work, the albums he recorded later in the decade were attacked by critics for their commercialism. First Light won a 1972 Grammy Award and included pianists Herbie Hancock and Richard Wyands, guitarists Eric Gale and George Benson, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreira. In 1992 Freddie’s upper lip became infected from an injury and this hampered his ability to play which curtailed his career.
Freddie Hubbard: Little Sunflower, written by Al Jarreau 1979
Red Clay: Full Album
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