Saturday, January 16, 2021

Listening: more Freddie

Let's listen to some more Freddie Hubbard, again with Louis Hayes on drums. The album is The Black Angel, recorded in 1969, same as Hub of Hubbard. With James Spaulding, Kenny Barron, and Reggie Workman— all still alive, except for Freddie. It sounds like we're in post-Bitches Brew mode (or at least post-Filles de Kilimanjaro), but this was recorded before the Miles album; both were released in 1970. The tune is Spacetrack, and it's over 16 minutes long, so settle in. DO NOT skim around like some kind of no-attention-span-having 2020s weirdo. 

I don't know what to say, the whole thing kills. The tune is great. Reggie Workman and Kenny Barron are super hip. I always file Louis Hayes under 60s hard bop, and you can hear that, but he's also right in the moment here— with post-Tony Williams and textural free jazz things happening. I guess I've been listening to the wrong Louis records. He has a couple of great drum breaks. 

The vibe is very different from the fast tunes on Hub of Hubbard, that pure machismo— and something else. An online reviewer speculated that on HOH the band was getting tired of playing standards, and it's hard not to feel that way. Here everybody is in the zone, and it's the same zone. As on HOH the time is floaty, but as a deliberate thing— not that anxiety producing thing where it sounds like there's a fight going on.      

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