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Freddie Hubbard: Fastball: Live at the Left Bank

Label M keeps coming up with top live albums cut at Baltimore’s Left Bank Jazz Society’s concerts in the 1960s and 1970s. This Hubbard disc sure is impressive. Recorded in 1967, the trumpeter is joined by tenorman Bennie Maupin, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Freddie Waits. It’s a loose, informal date, but not a sloppy one. Hubbard’s in good spirits, as his comments to the audience indicate, and his buoyant playing certainly echoes this. In terms of his range and technique he’s in top form, and he takes a lot of chances, producing a lot of impressive pyrotechnical playing.

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