January 1, 2009
Here to Stay
I'm listening to Freddie Hubbard. He died at the age of seventy a few days before New Year's. 'First Light' has always been the touchstone piece for me, but he made a great many fine recordings. I had to choose between two at the CD tent in back of the stage at Nathan Phillips Square last summer at the Jazz Festival, the night we were there to hear Salif Keita the Golden Voice of West Africa. I was getting a Thelonius Monk as well, and a Duke Ellington/Coleman Hawkins collaboration. I wanted something by Freddie Hubbard but I couldn't afford two more CDs and wanted the clerk to tell me: which of these two? He gave an "I only work here" shrug. A white haired black gentleman, very robust but in his seventies or older I'd guess by the fine mapwork of wrinkles on his face, took the two out of my hands, looked at them less than a second and handed me the one I'm playing now. Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Wayne Shorter; tenor saxophone; Cedar Walton, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums. HERE TO STAY.