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Freddie Hubbard: The Show Must Go On

Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard (photo: Nick Ruechel)
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard (photo: Nick Ruechel)
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard (photo: Francis Wolff/Mosaic Images LLC)

The blue-neon sign of the Iridium Jazz Club glowed softly behind Freddie Hubbard. The legendary trumpeter wore a yellow-straw fedora, a gold tie and a tailored dark suit with a handkerchief peeking out of the jacket pocket. He was celebrating his 70th birthday in New York two-and-a-half months late by leading an all-star octet that included some of his longest-standing collaborators, among them Curtis Fuller, Louis Hayes and James Spaulding.

On “Jodo,” the first tune of the second set on June 28, the bandleader picked up his silver flugelhorn, which had been resting on Larry Willis’ piano. Hubbard played a short passage that had the slashing phrasing of the original 1965 Blue Note recording.

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