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Frederick Dewayne Hubbard (7 April 1938 – 29 December 2008) was an Americanmarker jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 60s and on. His unmistakable and influential tone contributed to new perspectives for modern jazz and bebop.


Early career

Hubbard started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band, studying at the Jordan Conservatory with 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 Yorkmarker, 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. In June 1960 Hubbard made his first record as a leader, Open Sesame, with saxophonist Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Clifford Jarvis.

In December 1960 Hubbard was invited to play on Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz after Coleman had heard him playing with Don Cherry.

Then in May 1961, Hubbard played on Olé Coltrane, John Coltrane's final recording session with Atlantic Records. Together with Eric Dolphy, Hubbard was the only 'session' musician who appeared on both Olé and Africa/Brass, Coltrane's first album with ABC/Impulse! Later, in August 1961, Hubbard made one of his most famous records, Ready for Freddie, which was also his first collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Hubbard would join 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. Hubbard remained with Blakey until 1966, leaving to form the first of several small groups of his own, which featured, among others, pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Louis Hayes.

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.

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. He recorded extensively for Blue Note Records in the 1960s: eight albums as a bandleader, and twenty-eight as a sideman. 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". Though he never fully embraced the free jazz of the '60s, he appeared on two of its landmark albums: Coleman's Free Jazz and Coltrane's Ascension.

Later career

Hubbard with Harry Abraham

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.. 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. In 1994, Freddie, collaborating with Chicago jazz vocalist/co-writer Catherine Whitney, had lyrics set to the music of First Light.

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 VSOP, VSOP: The Quintet, VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum (all 1977) and VSOP: Live Under the Sky (1979).

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.

In the 1980s Hubbard was again leading his own jazz group, attracting very favorable reviews, playing at concerts and festivals in the USA and Europe, often in the company of Joe Henderson, playing a repertory of Hard-bop and modal-jazz pieces. Hubbard played at the legendary 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 Holland, from which came Feel the Wind. 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.

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. His best records ranked with the finest in his field.

In 2006, The National Endowment for the Arts honored Hubbard with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

On December 29, 2008, Hubbard's hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star reported that Hubbard died from complications from a heart attack suffered on November 26 of the same year. Billboard magazine reported that Hubbard died in Sherman Oaks, California.

Freddie Hubbard had close ties to the Jazz Foundation of America in his later years. Freddie 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." The Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians' Emergency Fund took care of Freddie during times of illness. After his passing Mr. Hubbard’s estate requested that tax deductible donations be made in Freddie’s name to The Jazz Foundation of America.


As leader

Title Year Label
Open Sesame 1960 Blue Note
Goin' Up 1960 Blue Note
Hub Cap 1961 Blue Note
Ready for Freddie 1961 Blue Note
The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard 1962 Impulse!
Hub-Tones 1962 Blue Note
Here to Stay 1962 Blue Note
The Body & the Soul 1963 Impulse!
Breaking Point 1964 Blue Note
Blue Spirits 1965 Blue Note
The Night of the Cookers 1965 Blue Note
Jam Gems: Live at the Left Bank 2001 Label M
Backlash 1966 Atlantic
High Blues Pressure 1968 Atlantic
A Soul Experiment 1969 Atlantic
The Black Angel 1970 Atlantic
The Hub of Hubbard 1970 MPS
Red Clay 1970 CTI
Straight Life 1970 CTI
Sing Me a Song of Songmy 1971 Atlantic
First Light 1971 CTI
Sky Dive 1973 CTI
Freddie Hubbard/Stanley Turrentine In Concert Volume One 1974 CTI
In Concert Volume Two 1974 CTI
Keep Your Soul Together 1974 CTI
Polar AC 1975 CTI
High Energy 1974 Columbia
Gleam 1975 Sony (Japan)
Liquid Love 1975 Columbia
Windjammer 1976 Columbia
Bundle of Joy 1977 Columbia
Super Blue 1978 Columbia
The Love Connection 1979 Columbia
Skagly 1980 Columbia
Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1980 Pablo
Mistral with Art Pepper 1981 Liberty
Outpost 1981 Enja
Splash 1981 Fantasy
Rollin' 1982 MPS
Keystone Bop Vol. 2: Friday & Saturday 1996 Prestige
Keystone Bop: Sunday Night 1982 Prestige
Born to Be Blue 1982 Pablo
Ride Like the Wind 1982 Elektra/Asylum
Above & Beyond 1982 Metropolitan
Back to Birdland 1982 Real Time
Sweet Return 1983 Atlantic
The Rose Tattoo 1983 Baystate (Japan)
Double Take with Woody Shaw 1985 Blue Note
Life Flight 1987 Blue Note
The Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw 1987 Blue Note
Feel the Wind with Art Blakey 1988 Timeless
Times are Changing 1989 Blue Note
Topsy - Standard Book 1989 Alpha/Compose
Bolivia 1991 Music Masters
At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles 2000 Starburst
Live at Fat Tuesday's 1992 Music Masters
Blues for Miles 1992 Evidence
MMTC: Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon 1995 Music Masters
New Colors 2001 Hip Hop Essence
On The Real Side 2008 Times Square Records

As sideman

With Eric Dolphy

With John Coltrane

With Art Blakey

With Herbie Hancock With Joe Henderson

With Others


  • 1981 Studiolive (Sony)
  • 2004 Live at the Village Vanguard (Immortal)
  • 2005 All Blues (FS World Jazz)
  • 2009 Freddie Hubbard: One of a Kind


External links

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