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Freddie Hubbard: 1938–2008

Playing trumpet with the masters of jazz (Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Quincy Jones) by twenty, Freddie Hubbard was key in the development of both free jazz and jazz fusion. A protege of Miles Davis, Hubbard brought a new fire to the instrument with chop-busting high notes and a controlled, unique tone. He participated in innovative work both as a sideman (Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz) and soared as a frontman (Hub Cap, Ready for Freddie). In the 70’s, Hubbard signed on to the new Creed Taylor label CTI, going on to produce some of his most famous albums: Red Clay, Straight Life, First Light, and others. Hubbard continued playing to general acclaim for several decades, even after suffering an upper lip injury in 1992 that would largely remove him from the scene (an injury tragically brought on by Hubbard’s unrelenting lip technique). Hubbard died on the morning of December 29, 2008, at his home in California. He is survived by his wife, Briggie, and his son, Duane.—Samuel Markson