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Hubert Laws (born November 10, 1939) is an Americanmarker flutist with a 30-year career in jazz, classical, and other music genres. Laws is one of the few classical artists who has also mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues genres, moving effortlessly from one repertory to another.

Biography

Hubert Laws, Jr. was born November 10, 1939, in the Studewood section of Houston, Texasmarker, the second of eight children to Hubert Laws, Sr. and Miola Luverta Donahue. Many of his siblings also entered the music industry, including saxophonist Ronnie Laws and vocalists Eloise, Debra, and Johnnie Laws. He began playing flute in high school after volunteering to substitute for the school orchestra's regular flutist. He became adept at jazz improvisation by playing in the Houston-area jazz group the Swingsters, which eventually evolved into the Modern Jazz Sextet, the Night Hawks, and the Crusaders. At age 15, was a member of the early Jazz Crusaders while in Texas (1954-1960), and he also played classical music during those years.

Juilliard and classical music

Winning a scholarship to New York's Juilliard School of Musicmarker in 1960, he studied music both in the classroom and with master flutist Julius Baker, and played with both the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (member) and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, 1969-72. In this period his renditions of classical compositions by Gabriel Fauré, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Bach on the 1971 CTI recording Rite of Spring—with a string section and such jazz stalwarts as Airto Moreira, Jack DeJohnette, Bob James, and Ron Carter—earned him an audience of classical music aficionados. He would return to this genre in 1976 with a recording of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet.

Jazz

While at Juillard Laws played flute during the evenings with several acts, including Mongo Santamaria, 1963-67 and in 1964 began recording as a bandleader for the Atlantic label, and he released the albums The Laws of Jazz, Flute By-Laws, and Laws Cause. He guested on albums by Ashford and Simpson, Chet Baker, and George Benson. He also recorded with younger brother Ronnie Laws album The Laws in the early 1970s. He also played flute on Gil Scott-Heron's 1972 album Free Will, which featured the jazz poem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." During the 1970s he was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet.

In the 1990s Laws resumed his career, playing on the 1991 Spirituals in Concert recording by opera singers Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman. His albums on the Music Masters label—My Time Will Come in 1990 and, more particularly, Storm Then Calm in 1994—are regarded by critics as a return to the form he exhibited on his early 1970s albums. He also recorded a tribute album to jazz pianist and pop-music vocalist Nat King Cole, Hubert Laws Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole, which received critical accolades. Among the many artists he has played and recorded with are Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne, Leonard Bernstein, James Moody, Jaco Pastorius, Sergio Mendes,Bob James, Carly Simon, George Benson, Clark Terry, Stevie Wonder, J. J. Johnson, and The Rascals.

The 2006 video Hubert Laws Live 30-year Video Retrospective, available only at hubertlaws.com, includes "Red Hot & Cool" with Nancy Wilson, Performance in Brazil, Johnny Carson Show Appearance, The 1975 Downbeat Reader's Poll Awards, Performance in Japan, and Performance in Germany.

Awards and honors

Grammys:
  • Career Wins:
  • Career Nominations: 3


Hubert Laws Grammy Awards History
Year Category Title Genre Label Result
1979 Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance Land of Passion Jazz Columbia Nominee
1974 Best Jazz Performance - Soloist In the Beginning Jazz CTI Nominee
1973 Best Jazz Performance - Soloist Morning Star Jazz CTI Nominee


Discography

As leader

Year Title Genre Label notes
1964 The Laws of Jazz/Flute By-Laws Jazz Atlantic
1969 Crying Song Jazz CTI
1970 Afro-Classics Jazz CTI
1970 The Best of Hubert Laws (Reissue 1990) Jazz Sony
1971 The Rite of Spring Classical CTI
1972 Wild Flower Jazz Atlantic
1973 Carnegie Hall Jazz CTI
1974 In the Beginning Jazz CTI
1975 Chicago Theme Jazz King
1975 The San Francisco Concert Jazz CTI
1976 Romeo & Juliet Soul Jazz/Jazz Funk CTI
1978 Say It With Silence Jazz Columbia
1978 Land of Passion Jazz Columbia
1980 Family Jazz Columbia
1980 Hubert Laws and Earl Klugh: How to Beat the High Cost of Living Jazz Columbia
1983 Make It Last Jazz Columbia
1990 My Time Will Come Jazz Music Masters Jazz
1994 Storm Then the Calm Jazz Music Masters Jazz
1998 Hubert Laws Remembers the Unforgettable Nat "King" Cole Pop RKO/Unique
2002 Baila Cinderella Jazz, Latin jazz Scepterstein
2004 Moondance Jazz Savoy Jazz
2005 Hubert Laws Plays Bach for Barone & Baker Classical Denon Records
2006 Hubert Laws Live - 30-year Video Retrospective Jazz Spirit Productions
2009 Flute Adaptations of Rachmaninov & Barber Classical Spirit Productions


As sideman

With Gary McFarland
  • America The Beautiful, Am Account of its Disappearance (1968)
With Walter Wanderley
  • When It Was Done (1968)
  • Moondreams (1969)
With Quincy Jones
  • Walking In Space (1969)
With George Benson
  • Tell It Like It Is (1969)
  • The Other Side of Abby Road (1969)
  • White Rabbit (1972)
  • Good King Bad (1975)
  • In Concert - Carnegie Hall (1978)
  • Pacific Fire (1983)
With Randy Weston
  • Blue Moses (1972)
With Freddie Hubbard With Ron Carter
  • Uptown Conversation (1970)
  • Blues Farm (1973)
  • Spanish Blue (1975)
With McCoy Tyner With Chet Baker
  • She Was Good to Me (1972)
  • Studio Trieste (1982)
With Chick Corea
  • The Complete "IS" Sessions (1969)
  • Tap Step (1980)
With Alphonse Mouzon
  • Morning Sun (1981)
With Stanley Turrentine
  • If I Could (1993)


References

External links




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