Freddie Hubbard

Frederick Dewayne Hubbard (April 7, 1938 – December 29, 2008) was an American jazz trumpeter.[1] He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop, and post-bop styles from the early 1960s onwards. His unmistakable and influential tone contributed to new perspectives for modern jazz and bebop.[2]

Freddie Hubbard
Hubbard performing in
Rochester, New York, 1976
Background information
Birth nameFrederick Dwayne Hubbard
Born(1938-04-07)April 7, 1938
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
DiedDecember 29, 2008(2008-12-29) (aged 70)
Sherman Oaks, California
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader, composer
InstrumentsTrumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, French horn, mellophone
Years active1958–2008
LabelsAtlantic, Columbia, CTI, Blue Note
Associated actsHerbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman

Career beginnings

Hubbard started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trumpeter Lee Katzman, former sideman with Stan Kenton, recommended that he begin studying at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music (now the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University) 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. On 19 June 1960 Hubbard made his first record as a leader, Open Sesame at the beginning of his contract with Blue Note Records, with saxophonist Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Clifford Jarvis. Six days later he returned the favor to Brooks and recorded with him on True Blue.


In December 1960, Hubbard was invited to play on Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz after Coleman had heard him performing with Don Cherry.[3]

Then in May 1961, Hubbard played on Olé Coltrane, John Coltrane's final recording session for Atlantic Records. Together with Eric Dolphy and Art Davis, Hubbard was the only sideman who appeared on both Olé and Africa/Brass, Coltrane's first album with Impulse!. Later, in August 1961, Hubbard recorded Ready for Freddie (Blue Note), which was also his first collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Hubbard joined Shorter later in 1961 when he replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He played on several Blakey recordings, including Caravan, Ugetsu, Mosaic, and Free for All. In all, during the 1960s, he recorded eight studio albums as a bandleader for Blue Note, and more than two dozen as a sideman.[4] Hubbard remained with Blakey until 1966, leaving to form the first of several small groups of his own, which featured, among others, his Blue note associate James Spaulding, pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Louis Hayes. This group recorded for Atlantic.

It was during this time that he began to develop his own sound, distancing himself from the early influences of Clifford Brown and Morgan, and won the DownBeat jazz magazine "New Star" award on trumpet.[5]

Throughout the 1960s Hubbard played as a sideman on some of the most important albums from that era, including Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch!, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage, and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil.[6] Hubbard was described as "the most brilliant trumpeter of a generation of musicians who stand with one foot in 'tonal' jazz and the other in the atonal camp".[7] Though he never fully embraced the free jazz of the 1960s, he appeared on two of its landmark albums: Coleman's Free Jazz and Coltrane's Ascension, as well as on Sonny Rollins' 1966 "New Thing" track "East Broadway Run Down" with Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison.


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.[8] 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.[9] In 1994, Hubbard, collaborating with Chicago jazz vocalist/co-writer Catherine Whitney, had lyrics set to the music of First Light.[10]

In 1977 Hubbard joined with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, members of the mid-sixties Miles Davis Quintet, for a series of performances. Several live recordings of this group were released as V.S.O.P, V.S.O.P. The Quintet, V.S.O.P. Tempest in the Colosseum (all 1977) and V.S.O.P. Live Under the Sky (1979).[2]

Hubbard's trumpet playing was featured on the track "Zanzibar", on the 1978 Billy Joel album 52nd Street (the 1979 Grammy Award Winner for Best Album). The track ends with a fade during Hubbard's performance. An "unfaded" version was released on the 2004 Billy Joel box set My Lives.

Later life

In the 1980s Hubbard was again leading his own jazz group – this time with Billy Childs and Larry Klein, among others, as members – attracting favorable reviews, playing at concerts and festivals in the US and Europe, often in the company of Joe Henderson, playing a repertory of hard bop and modal jazz pieces. Hubbard played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1980 and in 1989 (with Bobby Hutcherson). He played with Woody Shaw, recording with him in 1985, and two years later recorded Stardust with Benny Golson. In 1988 he teamed up once more with Blakey at an engagement in the Netherlands, from which came Feel the Wind. In 1988, Hubbard played with Elton John, contributing trumpet and flugelhorn and trumpet solos on the track "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Part Two)" for John's Reg Strikes Back album. In 1990 he appeared in Japan headlining an American-Japanese concert package which also featured Elvin Jones, Sonny Fortune, pianists George Duke and Benny Green, bass players Ron Carter, and Rufus Reid, with jazz and vocalist Salena Jones. He also performed at the Warsaw Jazz Festival, at which Live at the Warsaw Jazz Festival (Jazzmen 1992) was recorded.[2]

Following a long setback of health problems and a serious lip injury in 1992 where he ruptured his upper lip and subsequently developed an infection, Hubbard was again playing and recording occasionally, even if not at the high level that he set for himself during his earlier career.[11] His best records ranked with the finest in his field.[12]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Freddie Hubbard among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[13]

Legacy and honors

In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts accorded Hubbard its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.[5]

On December 29, 2008, Hubbard died in Sherman Oaks, California from complications caused by a heart attack he suffered on November 26.[14]

Freddie Hubbard had close ties to the Jazz Foundation of America in his later years. He is quoted as saying, "When I had congestive heart failure and couldn't work, The Jazz Foundation paid my mortgage for several months and saved my home! Thank God for those people."[15] The Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund took care of him during times of illness. After his death, Hubbard's estate requested that tax-deductible donations be made in his name to the Jazz Foundation of America.[15]


As leader/co-leader

Sortable table with last recording session for each release as primal order.

Title Year Label
Open Sesame1960Blue Note
Goin' Up1960Blue Note
Hub Cap1961Blue Note
Groovy!/Minor Mishap1961Fontana/Black Lion
Ready for Freddie1961Blue Note
The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard 1962Impulse!
Hub-Tones1962Blue Note
Here to Stay1962Blue Note
The Body & the Soul1963Impulse!
Breaking Point!1964Blue Note
The Night of the Cookers1965Blue Note
Jam Gems: Live at the Left Bank1965Label M
Blue Spirits1966Blue Note
Fastball: Live at the Left Bank1967Hyena
High Blues Pressure1968Atlantic
A Soul Experiment1969Atlantic
The Black Angel1970Atlantic
The Hub of Hubbard1970MPS
Red Clay1970CTI
Straight Life1970CTI
Sing Me a Song of Songmy1971Atlantic
First Light1971CTI
Sky Dive1973CTI
Keep Your Soul Together1973CTI
Freddie Hubbard/Stanley Turrentine in Concert Volume One1973CTI
In Concert Volume Two with Stanley Turrentine1974CTI
Polar AC1975CTI
High Energy1974Columbia
Gleam1975Sony (Japan)
Liquid Love1975Columbia
Bundle of Joy1977Columbia
Super Blue1978Columbia
The Love Connection1979Columbia
Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival1980Pablo
Mistral with Art Pepper1981East World (Japan)/Liberty
Keystone Bop: Sunday Night1981Prestige
Keystone Bop Vol. 2: Friday & Saturday1981Prestige
Born to Be Blue1981Pablo
Ride Like the Wind1982Elektra/Asylum
Above & Beyond1982Metropolitan
Back to Birdland1982Real Time
Sweet Return1983Atlantic
The Rose Tattoo1983Baystate (Japan)
Double Take with Woody Shaw 1985Blue Note
Life Flight1987Blue Note
The Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw1987Blue Note
Stardust with Benny Golson1987Denon
Feel the Wind with Art Blakey1988Timeless
Times Are Changing1989Blue Note
Topsy – Standard Book1989Alpha/Compose
At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles1991Starburst
Live at Fat Tuesday's1991MusicMasters
Blues for Miles1992Evidence
MMTC: Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon1995MusicMasters
New Colors2000Hip Bop
On the Real Side2007Times Square

As sideman

Sortable table with main artist alphabetically as primal order.

Main artist Title Label Year
Manny AlbamThe Soul of the CitySolid State1966
Roberto Ávila & SaravaCome to BrazilSonet1989
George BensonThe Other Side of Abbey RoadA&M/CTI1969
Walter BentonOut of this WorldJazzland1960
Art BlakeyMosaicBlue Note1961
Art BlakeyBuhaina's DelightBlue Note1961
Art BlakeyA Jazz Hour with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Blues MarchJazz Hour1961 [1992]
Art BlakeyThree Blind MiceUnited Artists1962
Art BlakeyCaravanRiverside1962
Art BlakeyUgetsuRiverside1963
Art BlakeyKyotoRiverside1964
Art BlakeyFree for AllBlue Note1964
Art BlakeyGolden BoyColpix1964
Art BlakeySoul FingerLimelight1965
Tina BrooksTrue BlueBlue Note1960
Kenny BurrellGod Bless the ChildCTI1971
George CablesCables' VisionContemporary1979
Betty CarterDroppin' ThingsVerve1990
Paul ChambersGoVee-Jay1959
Ornette ColemanFree Jazz: A Collective ImprovisationAtlantic1960
John ColtraneOlé ColtraneAtlantic1961
John ColtraneAfrica/BrassImpulse!1961
John ColtraneAscensionImpulse!1965
Richard DavisMuses for Richard DavisMPS1969
Eric DolphyOutward BoundNew Jazz1960
Eric DolphyOut to Lunch!Blue Note1964
Kenny DrewUndercurrentBlue Note1960
Charles EarlandLeaving This PlanetPrestige1973
Booker ErvinBooker 'n' BrassPacific Jazz Records1967
Bill EvansInterplayRiverside1962
Joe FarrellSonic TextContemporary1980
Curtis FullerBoss of the Soul-Stream TromboneWarwick1960
Curtis FullerSoul TromboneImpulse!1961
Curtis FullerCabin in the SkyImpulse!1962
Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Oscar PetersonThe Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4Pablo1980
Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Oscar PetersonThe Alternate BluesPablo1980
Benny GolsonTake a Number from 1 to 10Argo1961
Benny GolsonPop + Jazz = Swingjazz part also released as Just Jazz!Audio Fidelity1962
Benny GolsonTime SpeaksBaystate1982
Dexter GordonDoin' AllrightBlue Note1961
Dexter GordonClubhouseBlue Note1964
Dexter GordonGenerationPrestige1972
Dexter GordonThe Other Side of Round MidnightBlue Note1986
Slide HamptonSlide Hampton and His Horn of PlentyStrand1959
Slide HamptonSister SalvationAtlantic1960
Slide HamptonDrum SuiteEpic1962
Herbie HancockTakin' OffBlue Note1962
Herbie HancockEmpyrean IslesBlue Note1964
Herbie HancockMaiden VoyageBlue Note1965
Herbie HancockBlow-UpMGM1966
Herbie HancockV.S.O.P.Columbia1977
Herbie HancockV.S.O.P. The QuintetColumbia1977
Herbie HancockV.S.O.P. Tempest in the ColosseumColumbia1977
Herbie HancockV.S.O.P. Live Under the SkyColumbia1979
Herbie HancockRound Midnight (soundtrack)Columbia1986
Jimmy HeathThe QuotaRiverside1961
Jimmy HeathTriple ThreatRiverside1962
Joe HendersonBig BandVerve1996
Andrew HillPaxBlue Note1965 [1975]
Andrew HillCompulsion!!!!!Blue Note1965
Bobby HutchersonDialogueBlue Note1965
Bobby HutchersonComponentsBlue Note1965
Bobby HutchersonKnucklebeanBlue Note1977
Bobby HutchersonHighway OneColumbia1978
Milt JacksonSunflowerCTI1973
Milt JacksonGoodbyetrumpet on "S.K.J." onlyCTI1974
Billy Joel52nd Streettrumpet on "Zanzibar" onlyColumbia1978
Elton JohnReg Strikes BackRocket/Mercury1988
J. J. JohnsonJ.J. Inc.Columbia1961
Quincy JonesI Dig DancersMercury1960
Quincy JonesThe QuintessenceImpulse!1962
Quincy JonesGolden BoyMercury1964
Quincy JonesI/We Had a BallLimelight1965
Quincy JonesWalking in SpaceA&M/CTI1969
Quincy JonesGula MatariA&M1970
Chaka KhanEchoes of an EraBlue Note1982
John LewisEssenceAtlantic1962
Mel LewisMel Lewis and FriendsA&M/Horizon1977
Kirk LightseyTemptationTimeless1991
Jeff LorberWater SignArista1979
Ronnie MathewsDoin' the Thang!Prestige1963
Jackie McLeanBluesnikElektra/Musician1961
The Modern Jazz QuartetMJQ & Friends: A 40th Anniversary CelebrationAtlantic1994
Wes MontgomeryFingerpickin'Pacific Jazz1958
Wes MontgomeryRoad SongA&M1968
Hank MobleyRoll CallBlue Note1960
Alphonse MouzonBy All MeansPausa1980
Oliver NelsonThe Blues and the Abstract TruthImpulse!1961
Cecil PayneCerupaDelmark1993
Duke PearsonDedication!/Minor Mishap (Hubbard)Prestige/Black Lion1961
Duke PearsonSweet Honey BeeBlue Note1966
Duke PearsonThe Right TouchBlue Note1967
Oscar PetersonFace to FacePablo1982
Sam RiversContoursBlue Note1965
Max RoachDrums UnlimitedAtlantic1965
Sonny RollinsEast Broadway Run DownImpulse!1966
Poncho SanchezCambiosConcord Picante1991
Lalo SchifrinOnce a Thief and Other ThemesVerve1965
Don SebeskyGiant BoxCTI1973
Wayne ShorterWayning MomentsVee-Jay1962
Wayne ShorterSpeak No EvilBlue Note1964
Wayne ShorterThe SoothsayerBlue Note1965
Wayne ShorterThe All Seeing EyeBlue Note1965
Leon ThomasA Piece of CakePalcoscenico
Stanley TurrentineSugarCTI1970
Stanley TurrentineMore Than a MoodMusicMasters1992
McCoy TynerTogetherMilestone1978
McCoy TynerQuartets 4 X 4on three tracks as part of one quartetMilestone1980
Cedar WaltonSoundscapesColumbia1980
Randy WestonUhuru AfrikaRoulette1960
Randy WestonBlue MosesCTI1972


  • 1981 Studiolive (Sony)[16]
  • 1985 One Night with Blue Note
  • 2004 Live at the Village Vanguard (Immortal)[17]
  • 2005 All Blues (FS World Jazz)[18]
  • 2009 Freddie Hubbard: One of a Kind


  1. "Freddie Hubbard Dies". Downbeat. December 29, 2008. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  2. Scott Yanow. "Freddie Hubbard | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  3. Martin Williams, sleeve notes to Free Jazz (1960)
  4. "Freddie Hubbard The Blue Note Years 1960–1965". Dan Miller Jazz. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  5. "Freddie Hubbard", NEA Jazz Masters, 2006.
  6. Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness (1995), pp. 2018–2019 – ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  7. Berendt, Joachim E (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 191.
  8. Scott Yanow, Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years, Backbeat Books, 2003, p. 821 – ISBN 0-87930-755-2
  9. Thom Jurek. "First Light – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  10. " and Gopam Enterprises". Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  11. "Freddie Hubbard @ All About Jazz". Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  12. Yanow, Scott. Jazz: A Regional Exploration, Greenwood Press, 2005, p. 184 – ISBN 0-313-32871-4
  13. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  14. Heckman, Don (December 30, 2008). "Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpeter, dies at 70". Los Angeles Times.
  15. "Freddie Hubbard" Archived April 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Jazz Foundation of America.
  16. "Studiolive – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  17. "Live at the Village Vanguard – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. June 29, 2004. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  18. "All Blues [DVD] – Freddie Hubbard | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. July 19, 2005. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
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