Freddie Hubbard departs the planet

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Dec 29, 2008 Freddie Hubbard departs the planet

Freddie Hubbard at the Messina Jazz Festival with Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, and Sonny Fortune. 

In 1980, I bought and started wearing out Freddie Hubbard’s album Red Clay with my turntable needle, before the days of DVD players.

The local jazz-playing radio station WPFW today announced that Freddie passed away. says it happened today, related to complications from a heart attack late last month. He was seventy.

Freddie Hubbard was a major force in jazz trumpet. He blew me away when I experienced him live at the late Jonathan Swift’s nightclub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a quarter century ago, when he proclaimed that he was not going to be playing any more crossover "sh*t".

Freddie was great both as the lead musician and as a team member, including with VSOP, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Woody Shaw.

As I have said many times, jazz music inspires me tremendously in my trial work, including the improvisation involved, the self-demand for excellence by jazz greats, and the mind-boggling envelope pushing of so many of them.

Thanks, Freddie, for you. Jon Katz.

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