Hubbard, Freddie (actually, Frederick Dewayne)

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Hubbard, Freddie (actually, Frederick Dewayne)

Hubbard, Freddie (actually, Frederick Dewayne), important jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist; b. Indianapolis, April 7, 1938. His flamboyant, swaggering solos are filled with brilliant ideas and he is clearly one of the greats of jazz trumpet. He first studied mello-phone in junior high school, and then switched to trumpet in high school. He studied classical trumpet privately, while also beginning to play jazz gigs with the Montgomery Brothers in the late 1950s. He moved to N.Y. in 1958 and roomed with Eric Dolphy for 18 months. He recorded with Coltrane in December 1958. He gigged with various musicians, including Phil Jo Jones (1958-59, 1961), Sonny Rollins (1959), Slide Hampton (1959–60), and Quincy Jones (1960-61, including European tour), before joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1961, which established him as a trumpet star. Through the 1960s, he sessioned with various leaders, appearing on Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch, Coltrane’s OU and Ascension, and Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz, among many others. He led his first group from 1964-65, then disbanded to work with Max Roach. In Berlin (1965) he famously said, “Kiss my black ass” onstage due to perceived racism. From 1966 on, he worked mostly with his own quartets and quintets, including most consistently, pianist Kenny Barron. As early as 1966 he had recorded tunes with pop-oriented beats such as “Backlash” and the album A Soul Experiment (1969). Unlike some other artists, he publicly stated that he preferred acoustic jazz and that he hoped his success in fusion would bring him enough success to return to acoustic jazz. Nonetheless, Hubbard’s work in the 1970s continued with a fusion direction; his albums Red Clay and Straight Life sold well and he scored a hit with Sky Dive in 1972. He took Miles Davis’s role in the reconstituted Davis quintet (known as VSOP, with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter) from 1976-79 for recordings and tours. He continued to tour during the 1980s and 1990s, recording with Woody Shaw and Art Blakey. However, in the mid-1990s serious lip problems have reduced him to playing with a mute and there is some doubt as to his future. He is not related to saxophonist Dave Hubbard.


Open Sesame (1960); Goin Up (1960); Ready for F (1961); Minor Mishap (1961); Hub Cap (1961); Here to Stay (1961); Hub-Tones (1962); Caravan (1962); Artistry of F. H (1962); Body and Soul (1963); Breaking Point (1964); Lee Morgan: Night of the Cookers (1965). Blue Spirits (1965); Backlash (1966); High Blues Pressure (1967); Soul Experiment (1969); Hub of H (1969); Black Angel (1969); Straight Life (1970); Red Clay (1970); Sing Me a Song of Songmy (1971); First Light (1971); Sky Dive (1972); Keep Your Soul Together (1973); Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival (1980); Live at the Hague (1980); Back to Birdland (1980); Rollin’ (1981); Outpost (1981); Little Night Music (1981); Keystone Bop (1981); Ride Like the Wind (1982); Sweet Return (1983); Double Take (1985); Salute to Pops, Vol. 2 (1987); Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw (1987); Temptation (1991); Live at Fat Tuesday (1991); Double Exposure (1992); Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon (1995).

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter