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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Crotchet

FIRST LIGHT

FREDDIE HUBBARD

CTI 5127902

 

    1. First Light
    2. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
    3. Moment to Moment
    4. Yesterday’s Dreams
    5. Lonely Town
    6. Fantasy in D
    7. First Light

Freddie Hubbard – trumpet/flugel

Richard Wyands – piano

Herbie Hancock – Fender Rhodes

George Benson, Eric Gale – guitar

Ron Carter – bass

Jack DeJohnette – drums

Airto Moreira – percussion

When he signed for CTI in 1971 Freddie Hubbard made the transition from well known jazz musician to well known celebrity, when this album was released. The first 7 tracks come from the original album and the last from a live performance with Hancock and Gale replacing Wyands and Benson, it was recorded in 1973.

As with a number of the CTI albums, Don Sebesky, the arranging ace, had been hired to as the sleeve note says add some ornamentations!

Hubbard is in great form as is George Benson on guitar, the opening track is Hubbard’s composition First Light, he plays some great trumpet, but personally I found this track a bit overlong. Moment to Moment is a fine tune written by Henry Mancini and he makes a good job of the theme statement and follows it up with some great improvisations. Yesterday’s Dreams, was written by the record’s arranger Don Sebesky, It has a haunting melody and suits both Hubbards playing and the mood of the session. I don’t know who made the programme selection, but things do start to feel a bit mournful with three slow tunes one after the other on tracks 3,4 &5.

How Cedar Walton’s Fantasy in D came to be left off the original album I can’t think, everyone swings and the gloomy atmosphere I referred to earlier disappears completely and Freddie Hubbard produces his finest work on the album!

I did not need convincing that Freddie Hubbard was a genius, I knew that already, but I found this album like the curate’s egg good in parts. My view is that it was due mainly to programme selection, but as Miles had many successful albums with mournful themes, what do I know?

Don Mather

 



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